By on March 29, 2017

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio - Image: FCA

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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34 Comments on “Alfa Romeo Simply Does Not Know What To Do Next...”


  • avatar
    IBx1

    What they need to do next is give us a stick in the Giulia.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      How would Giulia feel about that?!

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      Yes…the Alfa buyer is an eccentric Europhile in the first place. It’s like the old Saab buyer. The uptake on the shift option will be much higher than the general population, and it would likely make a noticeable increase in sales. I want a Giulia, but I only want a 4cyl stick shift Ti model.

    • 0 avatar
      SuperCarEnthusiast

      Only about 3%-5% of the American drivers own a manual transmission car. Cars over $50K; it goes down to less then 1%!

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      What they need to do is fix all the numerous quality issues plaguing the Giulia as it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Neither Fiat, nor Alfa (since Fiat has owned it) have been able to put together a car properly. The designs are often great, the interiors frequently classy, the parts substandard or cheapened beyond GM beancounter limits, and the assembly sloppy. That’s been a feature of Fiat since WW2.

        The best the Fiat people infesting Chrysler (that’s what the company is, with Fiat as a sucker fish feeding off it) could do is turn Alfa into a Canadian maker, building them in Brampton instead of Italy, and using higher tier suppliers for wear items/assemblies, commensurate with the prices expected. Right now they’re using Fiat-quality assembly of Yugo-quality parts and expecting customers to pay BMW prices.

        • 0 avatar
          DarronS

          “Right now they’re using Fiat-quality assembly of Yugo-quality parts and expecting customers to pay BMW prices.”

          This^

          When I was car shopping a few months ago I didn’t bother looking at Alfas. They’re going to have to earn my trust with a three to four year run of reliable cars before I’ll think about buying one.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Look, stop making these articles about FCA product planning so negative. The best way to keep our plans secret is to not have any plans. It’s actually quite an innovative way to do business.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    As all smoke and mirrors descend,
    Promises break and promises bend.
    Empty shelves year after year,
    And they aren’t sure, just to be clear.

  • avatar
    kkop

    FCA’s direction with new models has been to downsize them from previous iterations (like the 200), or bring out new ‘small’ models (Dart, Fiat and everything Alfa). Great if you’re Italian I guess, but otherwise it hasn’t worked out too well in the USA. Soon, the only FCA vehicles fit for drivers >= 6′ will be the Ram trucks and maybe the Dodge/Jeep SUVs.

    As much as everyone likes to rag on Daimler’s period of ownership of Chrysler, at least they know how to design interiors for normal-sized passengers.

    • 0 avatar
      Serpens

      The 200 wasn’t downsized from its previous generation and it sounds like you’re completely ignoring the Pacifica.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The length, width and wheelbase remained the same as the Sebring sedan. The interior and roofline both changed in a way to reduce rear seat space. Bigger front seats were moved back, reducing legroom. The cushions were shortened in the rear to recover some leg room, but there’s still less legroom than before (and less thigh support).

        The big change in the rear roofline reduced headroom to the point taller passengers have to hunch forward, and that’s tough to do since the cushion and seatback are designed for you to lean back so you don’t notice the reduced headroom.

        The reduced headroom and legroom combine to be a triumph of exterior styling over interior packaging.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Hey, here’s a possible new direction, Mr. Bigland: invest some money in engineering and quality control, and focus on making sure the current slate of Alfas don’t break down.

    And then introduce some new models.

    If the quality doesn’t get better, then the whole mystery of “what next for Alfa” isn’t mysterious at all – it’ll slither back to Italy once again.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Bigger. Make a bigger SUV first, to do battle with the Range Rover, GLS, Q7, and Lexus GX. Oh, and Wagoneer. WAIT…

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. Alfa Spider. Take the 124 Abarth, add the 1.75L engine from the 4c. Throw in an Alfa mask and offer a DCT.

    2. Alfa Montreal. Make it a 2+2 coupe on the Giulia platform. Powered by the new all-aluminum 5.2L V8 that FCA has been secretly building to replace the 5.7L.

    3. Alfasud. A Niro-sized CUV with the 2.0T. Not sure what platform to use. Maybe the C-Evo?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      The Fiata was originally meant to be an Alfa, until Sergio got religion and decided that all Alfas must come from Italy.

      Maybe they could fly the shells over from Japan, like GM did with the Allante.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>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.<<

    Yes, because Alfa is so competitive. Like asking Lena Dunham for a decision about which beauty pageant she will “compete” in.

    >>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.<<

    FCA should kill Alfa, it's a morass. Total. Try to save Jeep, Ram and Chrysler and mercy kill FIAT in the US – the market has already rendered a death sentence for that particular form of commerce.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Just make the Guilia and Stelvio reliable then worry about something new.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Just make an SUV

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    I honestly don’t think there’s the room or the resources for both Alfa and Maserati.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      The Giulia Quadrifoglio competes with the Maserati Ghibli at $70k+. The four-cylinder Giulia starts at less than $40k. I suspect you could get one for substantially less.

      If Alfa is to succeed in its re-entry into the US market, it needs to get its reliability up to BMW levels. That is, the cars need to hold up for the duration of a three-year lease. (My independent mechanic has horror stories about BMWs with major oil consumption issues at less than 100k miles.)

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Next Alfa is smaller SUV.

    Let’s change the topic to FIAT. What’s next?

    Panda 4×4, QUBO, Fullback, Toro, Weekend?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree with Thornmark, take Alfa off of life support and just let it die and send Fiat home. Jeep and Ram need to be saved. Without quality FCA is doomed. Quality and good dealer service are vital for FCA’s survival.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    What they make next depends on what platforms they have to play with.

    A 2 door coupe of the Gulia seems a pretty easy no brainer.
    A Gulia wagon is simple to do.
    Various versions of the stelvio are coming. That already gives some product range.

    Then they need image builders and crowd pullers to put Alfa on the contemporary map.

    Develop the 4c into something real. ie put the 505 hp motor in it and some great suspension. Or at the very least the new 350hp turbo 4, consider a stick. An upgraded 4c wont be a big seller but it will be the performance icon upon which alfa can hang its brand.

    The car that always provided halo for alfa in the usa, the one everyone looked at was the spider. They need a new spider, and one that looks great. The fiata platform may be too small, but even one of those with great styling(which neither the mazda not the fiata have) and a 6 or 300hp turbo 4 will place it well. Styling can and should be retro.
    It does not have to beat laptimes of a miata, just be a really stylish great driving and sounding car, which is what a spider always was.

    After the above cars are out there, and reliable, the brand will be set and developing a smaller suv which will require a new platform will make sense.The smaller suv and some cars off that platform will have alfa well on the way to 400k units. Provided of course quality is there.

    The quality issues if you talk to anyone who has worked for FIAT in italy are directly related to design, bean counters and fiats internal purchasing policies.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    All wheel drive crossover… That is the ticket to print money currently right?

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    next alpha will be a suv because, well, you know, alfa is known for its suvs. esp small compact crossover types. they have made those for years – it’s really their strong suit.

    *not*

  • avatar
    1audiofile

    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.

  • avatar
    bennetts77833

    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!

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