Sergio Marchionne and Analysts Have Very Different Outlooks on Alfa Romeo's Sales Future

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
sergio marchionne and analysts have very different outlooks on alfa romeo s sales

Alfa Romeo’s long-awaited Giulia sports sedan is finally trickling down to U.S. buyers in larger numbers and a performance-oriented Stelvio SUV should arrive this summer. You’d think cautious optimism for the re-introduced brand would be the order of the day. Instead, there’s massive optimism coming from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Stergio Marchionne and nothing but caution from industry analysts.

There’s also plenty of disagreement on how well the two vehicles will sell, and reality is leaning increasingly towards the analysts.

Earlier this spring, Marchionne declared his intention to sell 170,000 Alfas globally this year. The CEO hopes to see the storied Italian brand reach profitability in 2018.

While luxury utility vehicles seem like a license to print money, doubts exist about the brand’s ability to generate the kind of sales Marchionne hopes to see. Alfa sold about 73,000 vehicles last year. According to Automotive News, market research firm IHS Markit only sees 120,000 global sales in its crystal ball, with only 25,000 of those calendar year 2017 sales coming from the 2018 Stelvio — a vehicle already on sale in Europe.

While the Stelvio is a new addition to a truly hot — and competitive — segment, time will tell how buyers take to the model. As for the Giulia, it’s a bad time to be a sedan of any type. Because of this, Marchionne’s latest prediction could go in the same direction as past promises: right in the wastebasket. The CEO had anticipated annual Giulia sales in the 75,000 to 100,000-unit range, but data from JATO Dynamics shows just 18,908 sales in Europe between March 2016 and April 2017.

In the U.S., monthly sales have yet to break the 1,000-unit barrier.

One analyst, Gabriele Gambarova of Milan’s Banca Akros, told Automotive News the U.S. could soak up 20,000 Alfa sales by the end of the year. Whether or not that will help push the brand’s global sales to 170,000 units (and end a 20-year period of red ink) depends largely on whether the Stelvio can invigorate its European demand.

While Marchionne’s high hopes are now pinned squarely on the Stelvio, more crossovers are on the way. However, the first of two planned utility models won’t appear until 2019. FCA hopes to add six new models to the Alfa lineup by 2020, but even those fairly recent plans have

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  • S is for Supra S is for Supra on Jun 07, 2017

    Reliability will be the big issue and so far they haven't done a great job at least with the M3 fighter. Hopefully they have or will have it sorted in a short order. Luxury buyers who "buy" new tend to lease but if they are in the shop all the time they won't get a second lease. Lets see how they are doing in a few years.

  • Rickness Rickness on Jun 14, 2017

    I can understand why sales might be slow. When the 4C came out, I enquired about the model. When it arrived , I was called. I went to the dealer to test drive and probably buy. " oh, no, this ones not available, and you can't test drive". I said " Ok, let me know when they come in". When they came in ,I enquired what model, options and price. I was told one price, and that night I called to schedule my test drive, the price went up $ 14,000.00. With that kind of customer asssureity , I can see why when I looked on website last year at the 2016 models, I can understand why they still had 2015 models on the website. They can't control their dealers........

  • Alan The Prado shouldn't have the Landcruiser name attached. It isn't a Landcruiser as much as a Tacoma or 4 Runner or a FJ Cruiser. Toyota have used the Landcruiser name as a marketing exercise for years. In Australia the RAV4 even had Landcruiser attached years ago! The Toyota Landcruiser is the Landcruiser, not a tarted up Tacoma wagon.Here a GX Prado cost about $61k before on roads, this is about $41k USD. This is a 2.8 diesel 4x4 with all the off road tricky stuff, plus AC, power windows, etc. I'm wondering if Toyota will perform the Nissan Armada treatment on it and debase the Prado. The Patrol here is actually as capable and possibly more capable than the Landcruiser off road (according to some reviews). The Armada was 'muricanised and the off road ability was reduced a lot. Who ever heard of a 2 wheel drive Patrol.Does the US need the Prado? Why not. Another option to choose from built by Toyota that is overpriced and uses old tech.My sister had a Prado Grande, I didn't think much of it. It was narrow inside and not that comfortable. Her Grand Cherokee was more comfortable and now her Toureg is even more comfortable, but you can still feel the road in the seat of your pants and ears.
  • Jeffrey No tis vehicle doen't need to come to America. The market if flooded in this segment what we need are fun affordable vehicles.
  • Nrd515 I don't really see the point of annual inspections, especially when the car is under 3 years (warranty) old. Inspections should be safety related, ONLY, none of the nonsensical CA ARB rules that end up being something like, "Your air intake doesn't have an ARB sticker on it, so you have to remove it and buy one just like it that does have the ARB sticker on it!". If the car or whatever isn't puking smoke out of it, and it doesn't make your eyes water, like an old Chevy Bel-Air I was behind on Wed did, it's fine. I was stuck in traffic behind that old car, and wow, the gasoline smell was super potent. It was in nice shape, but man, it was choking me. I was amused by the 80 something old guy driving it, he even had a hat with a feather in it, THE sign of someone you don't want to be driving anywhere near you.
  • Lou_BC "15mpg EPA" The 2023 ZR2 Colorado is supposed to be 16 mpg
  • ToolGuy "The more aerodynamic, organic shape of the Mark VIII meant ride height was slightly lower than before at 53.6 inches, over 54.2” for the Mark VII."• I am not sure that ride height means what you think it means.Elaboration: There is some possible disagreement about what "ride height" refers to. Some say ground clearance, some say H point (without calling it that), some say something else. But none of those people would use a number of over 4 feet for a stock Mark anything.Then you go on to use it correctly ("A notable advancement in the Mark VIII’s suspension was programming to lower the ride height slightly at high speeds, which assisted fuel economy via improved aerodynamics.") so what do I know. Plus, I ended a sentence with a preposition. 🙂