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post #1 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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The end?

Forbes: Another Alfa Romeo Comeback Story May Be Ending.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michael...may-be-ending/
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post #2 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 12:31 PM
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Moving Alfa Romeo up into the Maserati market with the Guilia was always, IMO, risky and made them another over priced brand.

The Giulietta is what they shiuld be building, a RWD version if necessary. The Guilia is like a 2600 ...

Saying that if I won Lotto, I'd probably buy a 4 cylinder Stelvio. I like the looks over the Guilia, and could accept the auto only option in a SUV.
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post #3 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 12:39 PM
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Not encouraging news, but I believe that Alfa Romeo is not going anywhere considering the amount of $ they have already invested for their return.

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post #4 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 01:27 PM
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Sad, but not surprising. It's like Alfa is snake-bit.

Bill

1991 S4 Spider "Gabriela", 2017 VW Golf R, 2018 VW GTI,

Previous obsessions; 2006 Mustang GT, 2006 BMW Z4M, 5 other Bimmers, Capri V6, Renault 5, Lotus Cortina, Sunbeam Alpine, Ducati Diana Mk 3, Norton Commando
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post #5 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 02:04 PM
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Forbes writes an anti-Alfa article every few months, so I'm not surprised.

They sold nearly 24k units in the US last year. That's almost 4x their best year ever in the US market.

It takes time to build brand awareness. I'm starting to see Alfas much more frequently--there is a network effect to branding: as people see them on the road they start to consider them.

I also don't think they overlap with Maserati at all. Maserati is an "old man" car. The 4C, Giulia and Stelvio are youthful and energetic--clean lines and good visibility. The new Maseratis are uninspiring vaults covered in expensive leather with big cushy seats. Like a Buick, but Italian.

The biggest issues as I see them are 1) Lack of models in the US and 2) Weak dealers.

They need a full-size SUV, badly. A full size car and GT would be key too.

If they could shrink the Giulia platform and use it for an A2/2-series type car, that would help too, along with a mini-SUV to go with that.

And cover your ears, but they should have an all-electric version of the Stelvio. Jag and Audi are doing it, and those things are sold out before they even hit the showrooms.

Bottom line is that, when you go into an Audi or BMW dealership, there are at least 4-5 car options to look at. Alfa needs to get there, and fast. Right now they are a one-trick pony.

Speaking of dealers. Ugh. People seem to be having a much better experience with the co-branded Maserati/Ferrari dealers. But the Fiat/Alfa dealers are clearly out of their league. Maybe not all---but this is my experience. Terrible supply of spares doesn't help either--I don't understand how it takes so long to get parts in a US warehouse. Somehow, the experience of Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge hasn't bled through. It's the same company, it should be the same **** supply chain!

Having said all that, I look at where Jag was a few years ago, and they were in much worse shape. Now they are doing quite well. Sales are off a little this year, but that's to be expected. But they need new product in 2020, and they need to do a better job demanding dealers give a luxury experience.

So to me, it's far from the end. Just growing pains. Hopefully the new leadership will fix it. Manley worked miracles when he was in charge of Jeep, so maybe his leadership will help Alfa now as well.
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post #6 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgbalfa View Post
Not encouraging news, but I believe that Alfa Romeo is not going anywhere considering the amount of $ they have already invested for their return.
Agree. While I'm sure the facts in the Forbes article are correct, it fails to mention that most European automakers are struggling right now.

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Originally Posted by onethumb
Fiat/Alfa dealers are clearly out of their league.
Boy, that's for sure. Perhaps having Alfa dealers be independent of Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Maserati, etc. etc. wasn't such a great idea. Sort of like having Mini be independent of BMW. Trying to run a dealership with just one or two models has to be tough.

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post #7 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 02:36 PM
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There aren't many dealers to choose from and for those of us not living in a large metro area a lengthy drive is in order. For me to look at a new Giulia it's a 240 mile round trip. That won't bother a hard core car guy but for a more casual but interested potential buyer that's likely a turn-off.

BMW, Benz,Audi, and VW don't have a dealer any closer but they do have brand awareness and a track record in the U.S.

I agree with onethumb about Forbes. It seems that both the automotive press and business journals have been rooting for Alfa to fail.

Bill

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post #8 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 03:49 PM
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I do wonder if the sales have slumped because of the ridiculous automatic only thing. You're not an Alfisti/a if you accept that, and yeah I know they are hell bent on dropping the old faithful buyers and creating a new market ... but the easiest way to do that would have been to close the doors and just sell Toyotas.


Even my uncle who is into Holden and HSV only bought an automatic ute because they are not making any more and it was only one he could purchase, and he wanted the last ever v8 ute. Personally I'd have kept the previous manual one ...
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post #9 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 04:08 PM
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In Italy, Lancia sold more cars than Alfa through June...Lancia has only one model, and it's a rebranded Fiat subcompact. Granted, Lancia is heavy on incentives...

That being said, I agree that Alfa has to keep up the advertising and come out with some lower priced models. (A GTI killer would be fun!). The manual transmission might help sell a couple thousand more cars, but ultimately people in America don't want manual transmissions it seems....and few of them even know how to drive them.
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post #10 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 04:19 PM
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"But ultimately people in America don't want manual transmissions it seems....and few of them even know how to drive them."

Y'all probably heard the joke that manual transmissions are the "millennial anti-theft device."

Bill

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post #11 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Straw View Post
Y'all probably heard the joke that manual transmissions are the "millennial anti-theft device."
They are. I don't know if I'm old (or young?) enough to qualify as a millenial - I never thought of myself as one. But I can tell you that those younger than me (say, between 18 and 30) aren't even interested in driving. Probably because modern cars have become boring after the nerds took over with their TV screens and lane assist and all that.
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post #12 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 05:04 PM
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Jaguar is in trouble recently mainly because of collapse of its Chinese market. I don't think Alfa was ever in that market.

European makers are having trouble because of the dieselgate scandals which are damaging sales because of the very mixed messages EU governments are emitting to consumers of expensive diesel powered cars.

The sedan market is collapsing in western industrial countries for reasons unrelated to informed and rational consumers. Buyers want SUV and crossover type vehicles. Makes no sense but then car buying isn't based on rational decision making.

Then there's the whole "millennial effect" coming at us alarmingly rapidly. Consumer demand for things expensive like cars and big houses is about to drop off a cliff and nobody seems ready for it. Niche cars like Alfa may do surprisingly well though as long as nobody starts chasing very large volumes of sales.

We live in interesting times. Not necessarily good times but certainly interesting.
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post #13 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 07:13 PM
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I have been an Alfa owner since 1968 and have seen Alfa come and go from the US market. I think that they have a much better car compared to the past and Fiat is putting more money into Alfa than in the past. I also agree that the world car market is having problems but, have been told that more cars are being leased then being purchased due to high prices. I also know that gasoline powered cars will be phased out in the future and I will never convert to an electric car. I plan to buy a new Giulia QV and would like to purchase a coupe if possible.
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post #14 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 07:41 PM
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My son, Trey, called me from OKC, this afternoon and told me that Oklahoma's only Alfa dealer, Alfa Romeo of Edmond, has discontinued selling Alfas with the remaining four units having been sold to a dealer in Dallas.

They will continue to service Alfas through the end of August; after that, your're on your own.

I wonder how many U.S. Alfa dealers have "closed" in the last couple of years?

Ray

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post #15 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Raimondo View Post

I wonder how many U.S. Alfa dealers have "closed" in the last couple of years?

Ray
There's a few dealerships in NYC that have come to the same end, but at least there's others nearby. Lack of dealers (and/or bad service) may well bring them down. But then again, there's not that many Jaguar (or Volvo) dealers around and they seem to be doing OK...
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