Worker protests may prompt name change for 147 replacement
29 November 2009

Alfa Romeo has been forced to change the name of its 147 replacement less than 48 hours before it is scheduled to be unveiled to the world.

The car has been designated the Alfa Romeo Milano for months, and was set to be given that name up until the end of last week.

See the Alfa Romeo Milano/Giulietta spy pictures

However, Autocar understands that Alfa has now made a late change to the name.

It is understood that this is because Alfa workers in Milan complained that a current wave of redundancies at Fiat's Milan headquarters means there will be almost no Alfa employees working in the city, and that to name a car after the location would be insensitive.

In January and February 2010 Alfa is scheduled to relocate its last remaining 232 Milan-based designers and engineers from Milan, where Alfa was established 99 years ago, to Turin, in order to save money.

Rumours suggest that Alfa is busy preparing a new name for the car, with Giulietta favourite.

This is the second time in the past 10 years the Fiat Group has changed a car's name at the last minute.

In early 2003, Fiat decided to call the Panda's successor the Gingo. However, Renault threatened to sue Fiat because it felt Gingo was too close to Twingo – a Panda rival.

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Alfa Romeo reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
18

29 November 2009

I prefer Giulietta to Milano, but surely 48 hours before the launch, when all the advertising etc has been sorted, is far too late for a change.

Looking forward to seeing some decent pictures of the car once it's launched as the current ones don't do it any favours.

30 November 2009

From what I know the Focus name was only changed to Focus about half an hour before the unveil. It was called Fusion I believe until the ver last minute. I'm sure someone will correct me if this is wrong.

30 November 2009

They can call it Monica Bellucci if they want. At least this one does not disguise its turdines. It looks as a turd an will drive as a turd. I have driven or been driven in almost all modern alfas (post 156) and all of them them were a disappointment to drive. It is funny to notice that a Lybra has actually got a better (tauter) setup than the "Cuore sportivo" brother 156. Interesting.

30 November 2009

Looking again at these pictures it looks exactly the same as the new Astra from the rear. The 147 is far more distinctive. So much for progress...

30 November 2009

[quote Clubsinger]Looking again at these pictures it looks exactly the same as the new Astra from the rear[/quote]

Yes I thought the same thing. The car overall though looks much better than the Astra, especially the dash.

I don't really care what it's called, I'm just hoping that for once we'll get an Alfa which is as good to drive as it is to look at.

30 November 2009

[quote Lee23404] don't really care what it's called, I'm just hoping that for once we'll get an Alfa which is as good to drive as it is to look at.[/quote]

It looks like a Koala bear from the front ... I'm not sure how well Koalas drive though ;o)

30 November 2009

[quote MarkusMorelli]They can call it Monica Bellucci if they want. At least this one does not disguise its turdines. It looks as a turd an will drive as a turd. I have driven or been driven in almost all modern alfas (post 156) and all of them them were a disappointment to drive. It is funny to notice that a Lybra has actually got a better (tauter) setup than the "Cuore sportivo" brother 156. Interesting.[/quote]

And where have these been driven? My 159 drive and rode better than the A4 on UK roads. But that's not saying much really, is it? Judging by your comments, the Lybra must be a corker!

I think it looks good, if a little conservative. However, this is the most conservative of markets (taste-wise) and we are in quite safe and conservative times (design-wise), so it might just fit in perfectly, unlike it's last 3 predecessors.

30 November 2009

[quote Agitprop]From what I know the Focus name was only changed to Focus about half an hour before the unveil. It was called Fusion I believe until the ver last minute. I'm sure someone will correct me if this is wrong.[/quote]

You are quite right....it was something to do with 2 stubborn members of the board I understand.

So there is hope for Alfa yet. However, in typical Italian style, they will still be throwing their arms up in the air still coming up with a name 2 1/2 hours after it was supposed to have been launched!

30 November 2009

How about calling it the Alfa AA or Alfa RAC or even the Alfa Green flag !

Peter Cavellini.

30 November 2009

A response to Mart_J: I have driven these cars in Italy and neighbouring countries. I would take a 159 Sportwagon TI over ANY Audi you give me. I have been very tempted by a nearly new 159 SW TI in white (here it is a new colour) because it is stunning in and out, the right size for me and very fast. Other than that 3yr old ones (black) are now quite cheap. In the past I have also owned an Audi (previous S3 - and was not impressed) and have driven a couple of fast and not so fast Audis. I can conclude that they are not for me - a dull drive all of them (even the new S5 V8). The Lybra and 156 (driven both in SW form) share their chassis but interestingly I found the Lancia even a bit sharper than the Alfa. The Lancia seems also a good second hand buy because you can get the diesels for peanuts (petrols are almost for free). I just wish they started to make lighter cars and not supposedly sporty coupes like the Brera - stunning looks but a barge to drive.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class
  • Ford Fiesta Vignale
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    We get a first taste of Ford’s poshest Fiesta in turbocharged diesel form
  • Seat Arona
    Car review
    17 November 2017
    Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?