Alfa Romeo Simply Does Not Know What To Do Next

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

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?

TBD.

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?

Delays.

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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  • 1audiofile 1audiofile on Apr 04, 2017

    I have had 6 Alfas since 1983 and if I had one suggestion to improve the Alfa repution I would work on improving reliability. If Toyota can do it, Alfa can change the design so it is simpler and more reliable. That will impress Europe and the US.

  • Bennetts77833 Bennetts77833 on Apr 04, 2017

    Well just read all the comments on Alfa/FIAT doesn't know what to do next. I suggest looking to the future! Alfa's great handling with an electric drivetrain. Looks like most of you long for ancient technology, a manual gear box come on. If you have to have multiple gears, electronics will do it faster. Speaking as a Chevy Volt driver for the last 35000+ miles (& the last two AROC National Conventions) all electric driving is quirk pleasureable, quiet & environmentally good. I'll be buying my next Alfa when one is available with an electronic drivetrain!

  • CFS I can’t believe these comments aren’t 100% in favor of CarPlay/Android Auto. They don’t add much for music and other audio that you don’t get with just a Bluetooth connection, but they make navigation so so much better. Why is it better? Because inputting the destination address is so much easier. And I don’t need to think about updating my car’s maps. Plus, I can switch between Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, or whatever else seems best suited for my trip. Hands-free calling features are OK, but not such a big deal for me.
  • TheEndlessEnigma I've owned a VW in the past and learned my lesson. Any kind of repair was absurdly expensive which I understand is typical of VW nowadays.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Interesting how Stellantis (and can we take a moment to acknowledge how piss-poor a company name this is - it invokes....what....MBA marketeers failing at their job) is pursuing cuts to reduce costs instead of, oh I don't know, designing-building-marketing vehicles people *WANT* to buy? What has Stella done with what was Chrysler? Suck off the cash flow generated by Chrysler brands, essentially kill the Chrysler brand by cancelling successful models, eliminate any market advantage Dodge had by killing successful models (G Caravan was the #1 minivan until it was killed, Charger & Challenger *were* profitable, etc,) and progressively and continually neuter Jeep all this while ignoring component and build quality. What's done in return? Push Fiat as the new and exciting brand then watch as it fails in North America (did you know ONLY 603 Fiats were sold in the US in 2023). All new Stellantis releases in North America are Euro designs......that then fail in North America because they are not design for our market. The Stellanis solution? Fire Fred, Hank, and Jim and replace them with Apu, Jose and Bernardo. Yup, that will work.
  • 3-On-The-Tree To say your people are total monsters is an unfair statement. You can judge the Japanese government but to say the citizens are culpable or responsible is wrong. That’s like saying every Caucasian person in the U.S is responsible for slavery or the civil rights era of violence and discrimination against African Americans and are benefiting from it. That’s 79 years ago, the average Japanese citizen born during WWII has nothing to do with what happened. Even my Japanese grandmother who was living in Yokohama whose home was firebombed was just trying to survive with 3 kids and a husband fighting in the war. Just like every war the citizens suffer, I saw it in Iraq. You can’t judge the people from the misdeeds of their government, my mom was born after the war, you really think she is responsible for what happened?
  • Irvingklaws Was a must have for my wife's new car. After years of windshield mounts, trying to keep the sun off the phone, wires running across the dash, etc...it's been a welcome upgrade. Don't have it in my current (old) car, just a stock stereo with the aforementioned windshield phone mount and wires...which is fine enough for me. But if I upgrade the radio with an aftermarket unit, the first thing I'm looking for, after separate volume and tuning KNOBS, is Carplay. Note, I've yet to find an aftermarket head unit meeting these basic qualifications. The infotainment in my '17 GTI had both of these and was near perfect, I'd be happy with that unit in any car.
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