Cash: Not Coming to an Alfa Hood Near You

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
cash not coming to an alfa hood near you

The Alfa Romeo brand is an odd duck, and not just because of its “exotic” status or its on-again, off-again history in the United States. Italian car fans love it. Design enthusiasts drool over it. Performance enthusiasts and sports sedan traditionalists pine for a finely balanced, twin-turbocharged Giulia Quadrifoglio. Concerned friends warn them that other, perhaps safer options exist. Money lenders with soft hearts try to raise concerns about reliability.

Love it or fear it, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has high hopes for the Alfa brand in the U.S. but, unlike FCA boss Sergio Marchionne, top American brass are hesitant to put a number to their hopes. For now, Alfa remains a brand without numerical expectations. And that’s the reason you won’t find incentives heaped on Alfa models in the near future.

According to Automotive News, Alfa and Maserati chief Reid Bigland, who’s also head of U.S. sales, claims FCA has no plans to play Let’s Make a Deal with Alfa customers. Bigland made the pronouncement as many wonder whether the automaker might try to stimulate sales which, despite being early in the brand’s return, seem sluggish.

Sales targets? We haven’t got any, Bigland claimed at this week’s Stelvio SUV drive event.

“Really no volume projections,” Bigland told assembled media. “We’re going to work the long-term game with Giulia as well as with Stelvio and we’ll see how it goes as to how many we’re going to sell.”

While Alfa’s top dog seems to be content to let sales play out organically, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is the other side of the coin. Marchionne has made numerous predictions regarding Alfa sales — predictions that, like the automaker’s model timelines, frequently bear little resemblance to reality.

After selling 73,000 vehicles last year, Marchionne expects Alfa to reach 170,000 sales in 2017. Industry analysts, however, have poured cold water all over those projections. Not only do they favor a lower number, they’re are only too happy to point out the vast divide between the CEO’s Giulia projections and actual buyer desire.

Buyers who do lust for a Giulia or Stelvio might be pleased to see the manufacturer offering cash back, but those who remain wary of the brand might see that as an indicator of poor quality. Markdowns do not scream “premium!”

“It’s a completely different game, with the two games really not to be confused,” Bigland said of the Alfa sales strategy compared to that of the Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram lineup.

In order to reach more buyers, the roll-out of Alfa retail locations continues apace. The brand chief claims 215 Alfa dealers should be in operation by the end of the year, up from 184 today. Some of those dealers will share space with Maserati.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Roadscholar Roadscholar on Jun 26, 2017

    Want higher Alfa sales?'s called 10 year/100,000 mi. bumper-to-bumper warranty. It worked for Hyundai.

    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jun 26, 2017

      Alfas, like most BMWs and Mercedes aren't bought as keeper cars, most are leases or to buyers who turn cars at below average lengths of time. So a 10 year warranty might be great for the 3rd owner, it would do nothing to move new metal. Things that will move new Alfas are no charge maintenance, great lease residuals, concierge type services etc.

  • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Jun 26, 2017

    I'm now starting to see these with some regularity on the roads here in southern New England. The more startling thing is the amount of Maserati's. In the past week I have seen close to 20 trident badged cars roaming the streets of CT RI and MA. I saw so many I took a look at a couple dealers sites and was shocked how many they had in stock.

  • SPPPP I have owned multiple Ford vehicles in the past, but I don't want anything they make now. Ford's product planning shows they don't want my business, so I guess the breakup is mutual.
  • Tassos First of all the Ampera is just the rebadged Bolt for EUrope.Second of all, the seller is dreaming if he thinks a used Bolt with 46k miles will sell for... $6k MORE than a BRAND NEW US BOLT (after the still valid $7,500 tax credit). I can buy a new one for barely more than $18k. What is the idiot smoking????
  • MaintenanceCosts I own a 2019 Bolt Premier that's identical to this one except for the mods and I still wouldn't buy this one. Wheels are ugly, tint is illegally dark in my state, and a badge conversion to Opel, which GM doesn't even own anymore, is just plain dumb.
  • Verbal It is more about profit margins than market demand. Ford could easily sell a substantial number of this car in North America, but the profit margins would be thin. Ford makes money hand over fist on F-series, Broncos, etc. No need to venture out of the pickup/SUV/CUV box. The suburbs of America are filled with driveway queen F-150 air haulers that are the new Country Squires. Ford likes it that way.
  • JMII What I don't get about this video is how did the tire get under the Soul? Its not like those things have massive ground clearance. I assume a tire would have smacked into the bumper and went flying in some other direction. This interaction seems to break the laws of physics... the car should have won this encounter not the tire 😱