Alfa's new product range planned for 2018 will now not be finalised until 2020; global ambitions and investments also scaled back
27 January 2016

Alfa Romeo’s dramatic relaunch has been scaled back and delayed, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has revealed.

In a presentation today to investors, FCA delivered an update on Alfa’s relaunch as a maker of lightweight, high-tech and sporty rear-wheel-drive driver’s cars built in Italy and powered by bespoke engines, which was announced to much fanfare in May 2014.

The first of these, the Giulia, was revealed last summer and will be on sale in the UK in September. It was due to be followed by seven more before 2018 as part of a €5 billion (£3.8bn) investment by FCA.

Geneva 2016 update: Alfa Romeo Giulia range revealed ahead of going on sale in the UK

FCA said the “commitment to the overall brand and product strategy remains in place”, but “R&D, manufacturing and product investment [will be] reduced through 2018” and the “planned product line-up will now be completed by mid-2020”.

The previous plan had said all eight new Alfas would be on sale by 2018. There will still be seven Alfas after the Giulia, and a slide in the investor presentation also hinted at the identities of the new models that will be on sale by 2020.

Up first will be a mid-size SUV to rival the likes of the BMW X3 and Land Rover Discovery Sport. It’s due in 2016-2017, according to Alfa Romeo.

From 2017-2020, there will be a ‘full-size’ model, understood to be a rival to the BMW 5 Series. Also planned are two more ‘UVs’ (for 'utility vehicles'), one likely to be larger than the X3 rival and another smaller. By the end of the decade there will be two more ‘speciality’ models in the vein of the Alfa 4C, although whether these are sports cars, other coupés or other derivatives of existing models is unknown. 

Also confirmed by Alfa is a new hatchback. This is set to be a replacement to the Giulietta, spun off a shortened version of the Giulia’s rear-drive chassis. There’s no mention of a Mito replacement, although that car is due an imminent facelift, as is the Giulietta.

The global ambition of the plan has been scaled back to focus on the European and North American markets due to problems in China and the lack of a global distribution network.

FCA pointed to import restrictions in China, wider uncertainties in the Chinese market and the “need to guarantee proper global distribution network execution”.

Also announced in the wider FCA plans to investors was the launch of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from the group from 2016. In 2018 FCA will also have a new 48V electrical architecture in place for mild hybrids, which will help to cut CO2 emissions.

Jeep’s global sales target has also been revised upwards to two million units from 1.9m in the original May 2014 estimate on the back of strong sales of its new model range. FCA also noted the better-than-expected performance of Jeep in Europe, allowing the firm to revise its overall European margins from an expected 2-3% by 2018 to around 4%.

Our Verdict

We're very impressed by Alfa's hot new Quadrifoglio Giulia, but here we've driven the one you're more likely to buy: the 178bhp diesel

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28

27 January 2016

A facelift will not be enough, a full rework will not be enough. What's needed for AR to continue for the next 5 years in this segment is a premium product aimed at the A1/Mini. A Mito with a new grill will not be enough

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

28 January 2016
xxxx wrote:

A facelift will not be enough, a full rework will not be enough. What's needed for AR to continue for the next 5 years in this segment is a premium product aimed at the A1/Mini. A Mito with a new grill will not be enough

Agreed. Minimum facelift version needs new interior, new suspension to sort out that dreadful ride, new front end styling, and decent engines. With all the work that is needed, a full replacement will probably be cheaper!

27 January 2016

Possibly the least surprising story on the internet, ever.

27 January 2016

The sorry saga of delays and disappointments has been an ongoing automotive story for Alfa since the 1990s.
I do hope they make any new Giulietta better looking than the bland Giulia. I don't see this car being the success that FCA think it will be.

bol

27 January 2016

Danny Bahar didn't move to Alfa did he?

I desperately hope they don't become Fiat's Rover, but it isn't looking good is it?

27 January 2016

I guess that explains the recent piece claiming that the current FWD Giulietta is to be facelifted again in 2017, seven years after launch. The Mito is now so outclassed that it should just be put out of its agony soon. No amount of tinkering will make it competitive and it's a waste of effort. The Giulia better be a brilliant drive, otherwise it could be game over for Alfa Romeo. In any event, the agony for the Alfisti continues. You still have to admire (or ridicule?) the chutzpah of FCA in the face of all the previous delays and broken promises. The eight new Alfas are: 1. The Giulia (a 3-Series Competitor) 2. A mid-size crossover (an X3 competitor) 3. A large saloon (a 5-series competitor) 4. A new RWD Giuilietta (a 1-Series competitor) 5. A small crossover (an X1 competitor) 6. A large SUV/crossover (an X5 competitor) 7.& 8. Two "speciality" (sports?) Cars. All these to be brought to production, so that Alfa will go from zero to BMW rivalling hero in just four years. Remind me again, how long have we been waiting for the Giulia?

28 January 2016

This article is being slightly "economical with the actualité" to quote the late Alan Clark. For one thing, the "investors" are not investors in the conventionally understood sense. As in, they are not independent and rational capitalists with choices. This is because FCA is *still* controlled by the Agnelli family; the very people who ruined FIAT in the first place. The "investors" are essentially Agnelli lackeys and do not have any real power over FCA. No wonder they all keep approving these ridiculous and ever-changing plans.

27 January 2016

This comes as no surprise as more wild dreams turn to dust under the 'genius' mismanaging the conglomeration

27 January 2016

I say this as a massive Alfa fan but this news is just pathetic, the brand is going to be dead before long at this rate. Really needs the Giulia then a halo sports car and only then think about SUVs.

28 January 2016
StuM82 wrote:

I say this as a massive Alfa fan but this news is just pathetic, the brand is going to be dead before long at this rate. Really needs the Giulia then a halo sports car and only then think about SUVs.

They need the SUV's over anything else! That is what people are buying in their droves

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