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.
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.