Alfa Romeo Simply Does Not Know What To Do Next
What will Alfa Romeo’s next vehicle be? According to Autocar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Alfa Romeo, and Alfa boss Reid Bigland have not yet made a decision about what the segment in which the next Alfa Romeo will compete.
The Mito and Giulietta will remain in Alfa Romeo’s lineup indefinitely despite their limited appeal. Timing for their replacements, which Alfa says must have global appeal, is unknown.
Alfa Romeo’s next vehicle, therefore, will likely be an SUV, Bigland told Autocar.
But bigger than the Stelvio? Or smaller?
Alfa’s Reid Bigland, also the chief at Maserati, does not appear to think as highly of older members of Alfa Romeo’s product line as Bigland’s new Alfas. Bigland tells Autocar the Alfa Romeo Mito and Giulietta are “very good cars, but not at the same level as the Giulia and Stelvio,” Alfa’s latest sedan and upcoming SUV.
That’s fair. Older, entry-level models aren’t likely to be as good as the newer models, though the frequency with which new Giulias have failed in the hands of American car journalists makes one wonder how the Mito and Giulietta would perform.
As the Mito and Giulietta stroll along in current guise for the foreseeable future, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio will arrive nearly 15 years after Alfa Romeo showed its Kamal SUV concept in Geneva in 2003.
In other words, product planning at Alfa Romeo has been known to take some time.
And product planning at Alfa Romeo isn’t just time-consuming. Plans are also wont to undergo serious changes.
Changes? You might even call them … what’s the word I’m looking for?
Though internal forecasts had suggested Alfa Romeo would produce 400,000 global sales in 2018 — roughly six times its 2016 volume — those forecasts went up in smoke as Alfa Romeo failed to execute on its plan to develop new models.
Just last fall, Alfa Romeo had determined to launch six additional new models by 2020. Joining the Giulia and Stelvio would be a bigger sedan, two more SUVs, a compact Giulietta hatchback replacement, and likely two sports cars.
But 2020 is coming on, and plans for those six new Alfas have “slipped a little bit,” Bigland told Autocar.
Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.
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