QOTD: Alfa Romeo's Time Come Due?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd alfa romeos time come due

An article posted yesterday on these renowned pages really got me thinking about how certain brands seem to not have much of a future in the automotive landscape of 2020 — and beyond. If you didn’t click the link there, you may be wondering which brand I’m presently speaking of. It is of course Alfa Romeo.

Let’s do some Italian-style pondering.

Throughout a history dating back to 1910, Alfa Romeo was a car maker of the sporty variety. Its creations went racing and its passenger cars were built with passion and flair. Almost always a loser of money for whomever owned it, the company stood on its own two feet for nearly two decades as debts went unpaid. By 1930, Alfa fell into the hands of the fascist Italian government. It stayed securely in those governmental arms until 1986, at which time it went to Fiat, where it continued to lose money. Alfa withdrew from the North American market after 1995, after it failed to sell enough of the beautiful 164 (above), which underneath was a Saab and a Fiat.

In more recent announcements, the company’s portfolio became slimmer than it was supposed to be. Venerable model names assigned for rebirth were returned to the dust bin. As FCA struggles with expenditures and heads towards a merger with PSA, one must wonder if a niche manufacturer with a poor track record of sales, profitability, reliability, and a spotty dealer network outside Europe is worth continuing. Keep in mind here that FCA has Maserati in its brand portfolio, which sells very similar vehicles but calls them luxury in order to score a higher profit margin.

But perhaps I’m thinking about it the wrong way. Perhaps a storied racing brand with Italian style is ripe for revival in today’s bland automotive landscape of crossovers. Though I haven’t yet made up my mind one way or the other, I’m leaning towards axing the brand with the green grass snake on its crest. Cut bait and sell it to an investor, where it can join the MGs of the automotive world.

Let’s see how many of you agree with my pessimism. Off to you in the comments, commandatorio.

[Image: Alfa Romeo]

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  • Morea Morea on Dec 05, 2019

    Sometimes you have to have the nerve to go talk to Giulia the pretty girl in class rather than hang around with your sister Lexus.

  • Mike6024 Mike6024 on Dec 18, 2019

    As an owner of an Alfa Romeo I suppose I reluctantly agree. I am not interested in the new models. I like the 4c of course but would never buy one. I'd like a 1967 Giulia sedan, but not the modern equivalent.

  • Kat Laneaux What's the benefits of this as opposed to the Ford or Nissan. Will the mileage be better than the 19 city, 24 hwy? Will it cost less than the average of $60,000? Will it be a hybrid?
  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.