By on February 10, 2017

Alfa Stelvio

Alfa Romeo has bragged that it will have nine new cars on the market by 2021 ever since brand boss and arm-day workout expert Reid Bigland announced a plan to “absolutely to go toe to toe with the Germans.”

A big part of that plan included a Giulia Sport Wagon to compete with the Deutsche estate cars. Apparently, this was a big fat lie and Bigland should meet me in the parking lot after school because Alfredo Altavilla, Fiat Chrysler’s CEO for Europe, Africa and Middle East, now says the model is off the table.

“We have decided not to make a Giulia Sport Wagon,” Altavilla explained to journalists in Europe. “Do we really need it if the SUV Stelvio handles so well? Probably not. With our fine tuning, Stelvio can interest all those people who might have been interested [in the wagon].”  

Do you know what handles better than a lowered SUV with no true off-roading capabilities? A five-door wagon with an even lower center of gravity.

The argument that people who like wagons will automatically gravitate to crossovers would also carry a little more weight if the automakers with the most cachet weren’t already jumping onto the “shooting-brake” bandwagon, earmarking it as the next hot trend.

However, the crossover is assuredly the less risky of the two — especially in North America, where it would unquestionably sell better. When I take a moment to consider the issue of corporate finances, and the fact that Bigland probably didn’t even know FCA would murder the Giulia wagon back in November, I suppose I can let the very brawny and tough-looking head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati off the hook.

While it’s always better not to get too attached to a vehicle before it enters production, nobody likes being promised something only to see it snatched away from them either. I cannot be the only car enthusiast or wagon-lover that finds this a very bitter pill to swallow.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport Wagon was expected to premiere at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show next month. I will be holding a moment of silence for it on March 10th at noon EST.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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54 Comments on “FCA: Why Build an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport Wagon When You Already Have an SUV?...”

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Wise from a bank account perspective for a cash-strapped and teetering company, for its least important brand.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Mr Altavilla is right, and you admit it, but you’re still upset? I guess that’s how I felt when Nissan killed the iDx concept.

    Hopefully the Stelvio actually arrives, and is as good as they think.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Also, in my opinion the wheels look much too delicate and fragile for an “SUV.”

  • avatar

    It looks ugly, stupid, and useless. It’ll probably sell like hot-cakes.

    • 0 avatar

      The Quadrofoglio sold out everywhere… UK EU AU etc.

      There’s no reason to believe that the Stelvio doesnt also sell out. The thirst is there for some reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig Hater

      Well if Alfa made a real SUV today would it really sell? GM already failed big time with the Hummer. What people are really buying now is a modern Vista Cruiser. Very few have interest in taking them off road or doing anything else in them that SUV’s were originally built for.

  • avatar

    I think Alfa Romeo is forgetting that the only Americans interested in the brand are the kind who would actually buy a stickshift wagon.

  • avatar

    As Hummer pointed out, the issue with the Gulia is that you either buy the I-4 for $40K, or you spend $80K for the V-6. Nothing in between.

    And still no stick shift at any price point.

  • avatar

    Another internet auto enthusiast trope. The reality is if wagons were so great, Toyota and Honda wouldn’t have pulled out of the market 20 YEARS AGO. Trying to convince the public to care about driving dynamics is like trying to convince the B&B’s purists to acknowledge the value of practicality/ground clearance/ingress-egress. Why should someone who never drives beyond 4/10ths give a crap about driving dynamics? To appease people who don’t buy new cars anyway?

    • 0 avatar

      “Trying to convince the public to care about driving dynamics…”

      Which is what Alfa Romeo is trying to do to sell their cars. The entire existence of the Alfa brand is an internet auto enthusiast trope and most of the B&B is quite bearish on the brand’s chances.

    • 0 avatar

      “Trying to convince the public to care about driving dynamics..”

      As a member in good standing of the hive mind I can assure you that an effort to address *riding* dynamics would be met with desperate enthusiasm that needed no convincing. Bring back some cush.

      Move Asses Gently Again!

  • avatar

    That is the most Kia-looking SUV I’ve ever seen, and that includes the ones made by Kia. That’s reason enough to buy a wagon, were one available.

    Maybe the reason luxo-wagons won’t sell is because they start $10K higher than the base model. Would a 320 wagon without xDrive sell if it only cost $1K more than the sedan? Eh… probably not, never mind.

  • avatar

    Macan and F-Pace are already there, Alfa. What are you bringing to the table?

  • avatar

    I think that Alfa sales are disappointing. Together with the heat FCA is receiving because of emission manipulation, the board probably decided to sit tight for some hard times that is coming its way. So the costly plans to relaunch the Alfa brand through multiple new models is put on hold. Perhaps indefinitely. The irony is that bringing out a Giulia sportwagon would have been cheaper, and sell better in Europe. The Stelvio was primarily meant for the U.S. market. Question is if that one will sell enough there to compensate the lack of a sportwagon. I think not.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    It is ridiculous to even keep Alfa Romeo. Maybe they will get a few sales but I doubt it will be that popular globally. FCA should have killed Alfa and put more resources into Ram and Jeep. A Global sized Jeep or Ram truck and crossover would be a better seller. Alfa Romeo will find it hard to compete against BMW and Mercedes. I like the handling and styling of Italian cars of the past but there is no compelling reason to buy an Alfa over any other Euro sport car especially when it looks more like a Korean or Japanese car or crossover. The only distinguishing feature is the Alfa grill. Also if Alfa does not give the customer outstanding service then they are doomed.

  • avatar

    “Sport” wagon and then with a lift kit, “SUV”; just like magic.

  • avatar

    You’d think the company who wants to sell on sex appeal could design a crossover that doesn’t have loaded diaper butt.

  • avatar

    I think a good way to gauge a design is by how it would look if it had 15/16 inch rims with increased side wall.

    This does not pass that test.

    If a vehicle needs low profile tires as a crux for poor design it should never leave the drawing room.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t think any size rims would make this look any better. Maybe FCA could add a Dodge grill and make it the crossover that Dodge desperately needs. On second thought that did not work so well for the Dart. Time to start the Alfa death watch.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes I have heard of the Jeep Cherokee but how about a midsize Chrysler crossover. The original Pacifica came very close. Maybe skip the idea of a Dodge and make it a Chrysler but smaller than the current Pacifica. They could start with the Alfa pictured above and make as a Lexus and Acura competitor with a more competitive price.

    • 0 avatar

      The Cherokee was designed to sell under one of the Italian brands but Jeep simply demands too many resources and too much attention for it’s parent company to focus on much else.

      I’m loathe to mention this Jeep curse(Jeep brings business to, but ultimately squeezes all life out of any entity that controls it and runs them into insolvency) but this is the Jeep curse at work. Chrysler will likely never get another S/CUV because Jeep will make too much money if given the same vehicle. There are mumblings about this vehicle being put into Dodge’s line, but that has to happen after Alfa’s sold it a few years.

      Chrysler is and has been dead since their last exclusive vehicle– the PT Cruiser– was killed in 2010. There’s no reason for hope in regards to anything positive happening with the Chrysler brand. This hurts me to type, as I’m a Chrysler guy.

      Too refined for Dodge’s brash nature, too city to be a Jeep– too bookish for a Ram truck. Too American for a Fiat and too poor for the prestige brands. I’m Chrysler’s core market– and I’m about to start looking at Buicks.

  • avatar

    DOes anyone on this site really take whatever silvio says as serious. FCA and all the other losing divisions [except ferarri] are really dead men walking and just waiting for the axe to fall. Why waste our time discussing losing companies headed by liars/con men. Whatever they do, it will be the wrong move, too late, with cars that are inferior to even the rest of the detroit clique. nuff said

  • avatar
    el scotto

    From the top. Elkann is Agnelli’s grandson and thinks of FCA as a GLOBAL company. Sergio is a placeholder until the heir apparent takes over. Elkann wants to bring Alfa back to the US as a premium brand. 300s and the 3rd best selling pick-up? North American market only. Yes, Wranglers are Cherokees do sell overseas but not as much as the fan boys would admit. Will Alfa’s sell(lease) well as an alternative to German or Japanese luxury iron? Yes. Lancia is a dead as DeSoto. Ferrari is a separate company. Yeah, this thing will be a hit with the soccer moms on the I-66 corridor.

  • avatar

    Being an Alfa Romeo I don’t foresee anymore than 5,000 being sold in the states. This will be another Sergio flop.

    What a disgrace!!!!

  • avatar

    That rear hatch looks 99% sport and 1% wagon. Pretty poor as a wagon design. It’s really a hatchback.

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