The Alfa Romeo Giulietta will be axed later this year as the Italian maker focuses on expanding its more profitable SUV line-up.
The hatchback was not included in plans for the brand detailed late last year, but its off-sale date had not been confirmed until now.
Fabio Migliavacca said: “Giulietta is expected to finish its life at the end of this year. The trend is to have SUVs in the C-segment, so the Tonale SUV will be the replacement for Giulietta.”
He added that Alfa Romeo was focused on ensuring the upcoming Tonale would have the same driving dynamics as the Giulietta despite being an SUV. “We don’t expect driving dynamics to be a weak point for the Tonale,” he said.
The Giulietta, launched in 2010, has struggled to find sales in recent years. Last year, it sold 15,690 units in Europe, compared with 78,911 in 2011, its best-selling year.
Meanwhile, the Tonale (above), which has already been seen in concept form and through leaked images, is expected to be revealed officially this year, although the coronavirus pandemic may well delay its launch.
The Tonale will sit below the Stelvio in Alfa Romeo’s SUV range and will be the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, employing a similar set-up to the upcoming Jeep Compass PHEV, which is promising an electric-only range of 30 miles.
Migliavacca said that although the plug-in hybrid Tonale will have commonalities with its Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) stablemate at Jeep, it will still be an Alfa Romeo: “For the performance side of things, it will be an Alfa Romeo. Every single brand in FCA keeps its identity even with shared elements.”