By on November 1, 2019

2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio badge

Sports car fans had best brace themselves for a big letdown. Fiat Chrysler, currently pursuing a merger with France’s Groupe PSA, has given investors a peak at future high-end product, and two anticipated models seem to have fallen off the drawing board.

Those products would be the reborn Alfa Romeo GTV and 8C, which are nowhere to be seen in the brand’s near-future product timeline. However, if crossovers are your thing, you’re in luck.

In classic FCA tradition, the five-year product plan released in mid-2018 has apparently undergone a revision. Under a banner reading “Refocus brand on its strengths while efficiently deploying capital,” the plan now shows a refreshed Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover appearing for 2021, joined at the same time by a C-segment CUV with an available plug-in hybrid powertrain. The latter model, riding atop the same platform used by the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X, is believed to borrow the Tonale name used by a recent concept vehicle.

Following the Tonale, Alfa plans to launch a B-segment CUV for 2022. This model will spawn a fully-electric variant.

All that said, there’s no sign of the GTV, a sporty 2+2 coupe that first appeared in Alfa’s lineup in the 1970s as an Alfetta trim. The model, which quickly dropped the Alfetta name and ended production in 1987, was resurrected in the mid-1990s as a slinky tourer, wrapping up production in 2004. FCA has planned to return the GTV name, with an appearance expected in 2021.

The 8C nameplate goes back much further, all the way to Alfa’s road and race cars of the early 1930s. A reborn two-seater bearing the 8C Competizione name appeared in 2007 in coupe and convertible guise, disappearing after 2010.

Whether FCA has postponed the introductions or scrapped the plan altogether isn’t certain, but the updated timeline and associated wording pretty much screams that the latter scenario is true. The company’s merger plans may have played a role in Alfa’s future product.

As reported by Autocar, FCA CEO Mike Manley said during an earnings call this week that Alfa’s future product lineup has been “significantly scaled back, with a corresponding reduction in capital spending.” Bummer for those not in the mood for a sometimes-temperamental sedan or a crossover.

[Image: Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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27 Comments on “Earnings Report Shows Fiat Chrysler Giving Alfa Romeo All the Attention It Deserves – Which Apparently Isn’t Much...”


  • avatar
    NoID

    It looks to me that the money slated for Alfa is instead being shifted to Maserati, based on their product plan (from the same earnings call) being more flush with new product.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s much more to be gained by badge engineering the Italian marques for North American consumption than by trying to sell them here in their Italian guise, at least in the case of Alfa and Fiat (Maserati actually has some cachet here, though it too is being wasted by glacial roll-out of product). Turn those cars into Chryslers and Dodges, with the appropriate trim levels, and they’d sell much better thanks to the more widespread dealer network and the brand recognition. The only people buying Alfas and Fiats are people who want Alfas and Fiats.

    In the end, for all of his wins as a turnaround artist, Sergio’s ego drove Alfa and Fiat vehicles to North American shores as Alfas and Fiats. Fiat’s timing was too late to ride Mini’s wake (Mini is of course struggling now as well), and there was only so much pent-up demand for Alfa.

    Then again, the Opelization of Buick didn’t do too much for that brand here, so perhaps the Alfiatization of Dodge/Chrysler would too have been a failure. I suspect we’ll never know.

    • 0 avatar
      namesakeone

      I’m not so sure. At least the Alfa Romeo name, if not the Fiat name, has some exotic cachet to it; Chrysler and Dodge have little besides mediocre-at-best reputations for their cars. (Ram’s trucks and Jeep are another story entirely.) Even if they won’t sell as many with Alfa nameplates as they would with Chrysler or Dodge, they will definitely sell at a much higher price point.

    • 0 avatar
      Victor

      But you do know. See Dart/200.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        The Dart/200 was a failed attempt to Americanize an Alfa platform, it was not an effort in badge engineering. I believe doing the bare minimum to bring the Giulietta over as a Dodge would have been a better option, but I understand what they were trying to do with the Dart. It didn’t work, but I understand it.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The problem with the Dart was it was part of a deal with the US government for a high fuel economy sedan, and like the original K car, it suffered from an underpowered drivetrain, in particular the manual transmission that killed sales in shiftless America, but achieved the mileage number needed to fulfill the contract. The only automatic was a CVT.

        FCA did the same thing with the 200 – a base 2.4 and 4-speed auto when the V6 with a 6-speed auto was optional and overpriced.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “But you do know. See Dart/200.”

        You left out the one that really worked out, the Cherokee. Interestingly, that’s where the Alfa plans seem to be going.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      I’m willing to buy an Alfa or Fiat – an Alfa will be replacing my BMW when the time comes.

      I’ll put up with the issues.

      Put a Dodge or Chrysler badge on it and make me deal with their dealerships? Forget about it. I’ll go Jaguar or add a second Volvo to the garage.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    More interested in knowing if the 3/4 ton BOF Jeep is still on track, that’s the biggest news of all.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      Where in the world did you get the idea that the new Grand Wagoneer was 3/4 ton? Every report I’ve seen in the media is that the new Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban competitor was based on the new “DT” Ram 1500, and the mules that have been spied in the wild support this theory (they look like new Ram 1500s with the bed joined to the cab). Likewise, reports point to it being built in the old “DS” Ram plant in Michigan, but the HD trucks are all built in Mexico.

      I’d love a Jeep SUV built on the bones of the Ram 2500 truck, especially something like a Power Wagon, but I (literally) don’t see it happening.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Wagoneer supposed to be 1/2ton with a Grand Wagoneer over it that’s 3/4. At least in the original product intiative posted here several years back.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Yea, they aren’t doing that anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          John

          According to Allpar and Jeep reps at the Jamboree, the Wagoneer will be a short wheelbase BoF SUV based on the Ram 1500 aimed at the Dehali, Escalade, Expedition,Navigator
          and Tahoe. The Grand Wagoneer, will be a long wheelbase version aimed at the Denali XL, Escalade ESV, Expedition EL, Navigator L and Suburban. But the Wagoneer will get off road versions likely bases on the Rebel and TRX Ram suspensions.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            So this explains why they went so far upscale with the new Ram platform that they lost the pricing power they had previously had over Ford and Chevy. Those are gonna be some suckers who pay $100k+ for a Sladified Ram truck.

          • 0 avatar
            NoID

            To be fair Dal, have you been in the new Ram 1500? It’s not a bad place to spend time, not by a long shot.

            Not to mention that while the Escalade and Navigator typically lose comparisons to their German competitors due to their truck-based roots, they absolutely print money for their respective brands. It’s not a bad formula to copy, and the DT truck isn’t a poor foundation to start from.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The GM trucks are easily a grade below the Ram at the same price point and it’ll be no different with the JGW. It’s clear to anyone who compares and the market is noticing.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    Most Alfisti want an Alfa because of it’s huge racing pedigree and are not interested in piles of goofy luxury features and are dismayed to learn it only has 2 pedals and video game shifting.
    The buyers are well heeled (or wanabe well heeled) and shop BMW, Merc etc and few of them know much about the 20’s, 30’s and post war victories. The local salesperson tells me of taking perspective buyers out and having them guess wrong how many cylinders it has. These are not the Alfa buyers of the past.

    BTW, as far as I know, the GT Veloce first appeared in 1967 when the Sprint GT got a few more HP and better brakes.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Jeremy Clarkson has said that you can never be a true petrolhead until you have owned an Alfa (not sure if leases count). [Insert your opinion of Jeremy Clarkson here.]

    Note to automakers: If you take your international product and dumb it down for Americans and they don’t buy it in large numbers, this does not mean that they would not have preferred the non-dumbed-down version (self-fulfilling prophecy).

    The Alfa Romeo logo: That is a snake with a crown with a dude in its mouth. (Or after the 2015 logo update, it could be a Boeing 737 MAX entering a hangar for reprogramming.) Opinions vary as to whether the person is entering or leaving the snake. [But we are definitely sure that prior to the 2015 update, there were 67% more observers standing behind the safety barrier watching the aircraft, and the barrier was much thicker.]

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “peek”.

    Not “peak”.

    One is a glance, the other is a mountain.

  • avatar
    kkop

    I’m no stranger to putting up with quirks and unreliability for the sake of driving or riding an engaging vehicle, but owning an Alfa would be a bridge too far. If Alfa can’t even prep the press review vehicles well enough that they don’t break down multiple times, how well would a non-review vehicle perform?

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      When did a press car break down?? And I’ve worked for OEM’s – press cars don’t get prepped. They show up no differently than a dealer car, it gets licensed and parked until it gets signed out for press use. When done it goes to a dealer only auction and ends up on someones lot. I am in the retail world now and just this week we got a SUV from the manufacturer auction with 1000km on it, I figure it was a press vehicle.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Sigh… Alfa Romeo: Breaking owners’ hearts since 1910. Ask the man who owns one…

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    You know, all of this nonsense could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the 25-year rule and other onerous U.S.-specific regs preventing gray market imports of these vehicles. Imagine if the die-hard Alfisti could simply buy their beloved 159s and Giulias either directly overseas or through a specialist importer. Alfa Romeo and Fiat would have no need to waste money setting up shop here just so a small pool of customers could get their fix.

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