By on August 8, 2017

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCACritics love the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

And they hate it.

American luxury car buyers, however, are increasingly interested. The Alfa Romeo Giulia lineup has been available since the tail end of 2016. And every month, right through the spring and into the summer, stories of breakdowns and limp-home modes and on-track failures had no apparent impact on increased demand.

July 2017 was the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s best month on the U.S. market to date.

Expectations for growth are the norm when it comes to newly released vehicles. Alfa Romeo’s situation is unique, however, in that the Giulia is not a replacement product for an established nameplate and Alfa Romeo is a relatively unknown entity in North America. The dealer network is small, and there’s no potential to bring in loyal owners with trade-ins of any vehicle, other than owners of 23-year-old 164s.

Expectations are thus diminished when early cars are seen failing with alarming frequency. Consumer Reports’ bought-and-paid-for Giulia has been visiting the dealer all too often. Car And Driver’s comparison-test-winning Giulia Quadrifoglio didn’t stay running. Jalopnik’s Giulia Quadrifoglio shouldn’t have passed quality control; their lesser Giulia struggled to stay alivePistonHeads‘ Giulia didn’t make it through a track test. Road & Track’s Giulia “kept breaking.”

Then The Globe And Mail’s Matt Bubbers was set to leave for a pickup of an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio on July 17 when the Giulia he was supposed to pick up went into limp-home mode; throwing codes.

Bozi Tatarevic thoroughly chronicled the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s poor reliability situation, revealing some instances in which the assumed causes are hilariously innocent.

No matter. Giulia sales are steadily rising.

The Giulia hasn’t yet been available for a full 12-month period, so the year-over-year comparisons upon which we would typically rely to avoid seasonal fluctuations aren’t available. Yet compared with March, April volume was up 31 percent. May sales grew a further 39 percent before June was 12-percent better than May, and July — the most recent month — represented an 11-percent improvement over June.

Alfa Romeo Giulia U.S. sales chart 2017 - Image: © The Truth About CarsQuickly, the Alfa Romeo Giulia has become a car people actually buy, not just a rare afterthought ignored by almost every luxury car buyer. In July, the 1,104 Giulias sold in the United States meant that the Alfa outsold upmarket/premium/luxury cars such as the Buick LaCrosse, Lincoln Continental, Volvo S90, BMW 7 Series, Cadillac CTS, and Lexus GS.

More importantly, the Alfa Romeo Giulia easily outsold a number of direct rivals: Volvo S60, Cadillac ATS, and Jaguar XE.

Popular? No. The BMW 3 Series, with a variety of bodystyles and a broad engine lineup, tumbled 40 percent in July and still outsold the Giulia by nearly four-to-one. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class generated 4,899 sales. The Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, and Audi A4 all sold more than twice as often as the Giulia.2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport - Image: FCABut despite all of the negative attention and the inherent uphill climb facing a new car from a new brand in a highly competitive sector, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is trending in the right direction.

For now.

Alfa Romeo is now launching the Stelvio, the brand’s first utility vehicle, 99 of which were sold in the U.S. in July. As the Giulia’s segment continues its struggle, look for the Stelvio to be the real gauge of Alfa Romeo’s U.S. strength. If the brand is going to find North American success, that’s the model that’ll do it.

[Images: FCA, The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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51 Comments on “Alfa Romeo Giulia Sales Jumped yet Again in July 2017...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I seem to remember Sterlings (remember those?) selling well for about 12 months…

    I don’t blame folks for buying this car. It definitely pushes all the right buttons with me – it’s distinctive, looks great, and apparently it’s a blast to drive. But if this car proves to be a shop queen, Alfa is probably as dead as dogs**t.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      Remember Sterling? Oh boy do I!

      We probably had the first Acura Legend in town when it came out. Fantastic car that never had any issues, other than the fact that my parents would swap out of cars every few years.

      I always thought the Sterling looked great, and seriously tried to persuade my dad to get one as his primary car. He may not have been a car person, but he knew about the quality of British automobiles.

    • 0 avatar
      JEFFSHADOW

      Love that EDSEL grille! So that means it WILL be a classic some decade from now. . .

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve seen quite a few of them here in the northeast NYC area, they look GREAT! I am actually considering getting one myself to add to the channel.

    • 0 avatar
      Maserati123

      I REALLY DON’T CARE IF THIS CAR BREAKS DOWN,I WILL BUY IT.I LOVE IT. I HAD 2 ALFA BEFORE, AND NEVER A PROBLEM. IT’S LIKE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN,SHE MAY NOT ALWAYS WANT TO HAVE SEX (DRIVE),BUT WHEN SHE DOES, IT’S SIMPLY AN AWESOME UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Wow totally not biased against Alfa Romeo.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Lease support helps. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 24 months when those leases start coming back and residual values are exposed.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    Not really seeing many complaints on the different Alfa forums–most folks seem to like their cars –but, if you check out the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid forums–those folks are about to lose it.

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      What are some of the complaints about the Pacifica Hybrid?

      • 0 avatar
        jeoff

        All deliveries have been halted and everything that has been sold has been recalled to the dealer.
        It’s been going on for at least a month now.

        “Fiat Chrysler has issued a voluntary recall for all the Pacifica Hybrids — since it’s a new car, this amounts to just 1,368 vehicles in the US and 309 in Canada, for a total of 1,677… The problem can be narrowed down to the hybrid electrical system. A small number of owners (according to FCA) have reported issues with diodes on the batteries, reportedly part of a control module. If the diodes stop functioning entirely, it can result in a loss of propulsion.”

  • avatar
    RS

    When can we expect a TTAC Stelvio review?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      FCA has the entire Stelvio fleet at a Chrysler dealership in Pawtucket, RI undergoing reconstruction with s**t that actually works. It’ll be a while.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “FCA has the entire Stelvio fleet at a Chrysler dealership in Pawtucket, RI undergoing reconstruction with s**t that actually works. It’ll be a while.”

        Switching the badges over to Honda Pilots, are they?

        Don’t forget to swap out the radios with UConnect units, or they’ll be outed.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Maybe FCA can scare up some fleet sales if numbers drop off. A little cramped for suspects compared to a Crown Vic or Charger, but it would still be a cool patrol car. “Limp home mode” pursuits might not work out well though.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Then the Cadillac CT6 can start replacing the Caprice PPV. Just as logical.

      Giulia starts at like $38k, that’s the base 4 cylinder turbo. The fast one is much more, about $74k.

      Maybe in Dubai, the top shelf 505 HP Quadrifoglio could be a patrol car, but in New York or Phoenix? I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Its pretty embarrassing FCA produces a car with issues like this.

    It isn’t like Chrysler was that great to start, but I almost suspect Fiat has somehow made it all even worse.

    I don’t care how great a car is, at the end of the day very few people will put up with crap like you hear on the Giulia.

    With Fiat sales in the toilet, garbage quality on Alfa, and who knows what else on the Chrysler side of things, something tells me FCA is not long for the USA.

    • 0 avatar
      dmoan

      Problem is lot of issues are because of cutting corners to maximize $$ margin, almost every issue with my Cherokee is one or another could been easily fixed if they put some thought into design and not decided to cut corners.

    • 0 avatar
      Brady Bunch

      My impression is that FCA has already paved the way to break up and sell the pieces of the company known as FCA. Notice how there is the Jeep line, which could be sold to a company that needs a macho machine in its line up, and the trucks are now known as Ram.
      The Ram line could be sold to a company that needs pickups to add to its present line up. Chrysler will be put to death and FIAT will pack up and go home…..again.

  • avatar
    Fred

    That chart probably looks great on a powerpoint show. Just don’t look at the actual numbers.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I am glad some are braver than me here, I sat in one at the NY auto show and was not impressed at all with the interior. I am not someone who leases a car but this seems to cry out to lease and if it is a POS hand it back to FCA in when the lease is up. I am hoping they do well I like odd ball cars I drive one of the last saab 9-5 they sold here. I think the will drop like a stone after the leases start being returned in 2019 but time will tell.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    Even though I sell Jaguars I really want the Giulia to succeed. In this world of SUV’s there will always be room in my heart and in my garage for small, stylish, fun to drive sports sedans.

  • avatar
    ajla

    When is this thing getting a V6 that doesn’t cost over $70k?

  • avatar
    Dipstick

    Shouldn’t y’all be excited that Alfa finally made it here and maybe is doing well? Being car enthusiasts and all that, not to mention “the best and the brightest”. lol

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    This ought to be a boon for their roadside assistance contractor.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    That’s the wrong graph. You put up the “discovered faults per car sold” graph by accident.

  • avatar
    Acd

    At this point the Giulia is the most successful sedan Alfa has ever sold in the U.S. and they are on track to have their highest U.S. sales year ever. Their previous peak was in 1986 with 8201 cars sold and the bulk of those were Spiders.

  • avatar
    raph

    I want to love this car so much but I just don’t see it ever happening ever.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Build quality aside, one thing it has going for it, is that it is a genuinely well proportioned car. Among upscale, sporty 4 doors, only the aging, and expensive, Aston Rapide has the same level of standout-without-looking-try-hard curb and street presence.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    The level of reported problems is kind of surprising. I have a 4C and while it hasn’t exactly been flawless, the ownership experience has not been bad at all. I wonder what the cause of the difference is. More Software/IT in the new car?

    • 0 avatar
      moff90

      “More Software/IT in the new car?”
      A lot more:

      https://twitter.com/hoonable/status/886002918268293121/
      https://twitter.com/hoonable/status/886003080734625792

    • 0 avatar
      cedee159

      Automotive journalists love to jump on band wagons. One of those band wagons is the one that mocks Italian cars, except Ferrari; no one would dare do that.

      With Jeremy Clarkson’s clever and entertaining comments on Alfas all the other writers seem to want to ride the Alfa/Italian cars reliability topic. When FIAT first brought its little 500 over writers began bringing up reliability issues before the cars were even out on the road. The people who read and believe everything they read also started to chime in even though they have no first hand knowledge and never even tried the car. Well the little 500 has been here awhile already and guess what no big issues. But I already knew the 500 was good because I travel often to Italy and I’ve rented it often and logged a couple of thousand kilometers with them with no malfuntions of anything. I’ve also owned the last real Alfa, a Milano/75 and drove it since new for 22 years. I hated selling it but it simply got too old. If that car was still available new I would not hesitate to buy another because nothing felt and sounded like that car on the road.

      The Giulia’s weak point for me is simply not having an affordable and reasonable V6 available. The current trend of fuel saving 4 cyl. turbos are fine for the common driver but the enthusiast wants a 6 cyl. in this car and they should not have to spend 90 grand to get it. Attn: Alfa, I can get a V6 in a Jaguar XF and XE for a lot less money than the Quadrifolio, as matter of fact almost for the same money as a fully equipped 4 cyl. Giulia.

      I will be driving a new Giulia IF they ever come to their senses and give me two things I want more than bluetooth or silly touch screens; they must give me an affordable V6 and a manual shifting gearbox, just like my REAL ALFA had.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Reminds of the old Jaguar days when the common advice was to buy 2 so you always had a backup when the other was in the shop.


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