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Can Alfa Romeo be saved?

Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by Beentherebefore, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. HotCarNut

    HotCarNut Defender of Reality
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    I keep considering an Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio, but FCA's history of changing their mind and their lack of commitment to a firm product cadence keep me from pulling the trigger. I don't want to spend $75k on something I may not be able to get parts for in a few years should Alfa pull out of the US.
     
  2. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    This is a prime example of what would happen if Peugeot was relaunched here. Please, no more billions wasted on dreams. Invest in what will sell, and update things that are selling, but at levels that might not qualify for all new architectures.
     
  3. T_690

    T_690 Well-Known Member

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    With Tavaresh coming into mix there is a huge possibility for Alfa and above all Maserati receiving a more love.

    Premium and luxury brand offering is something which new group must work on.
     
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  4. HotCarNut

    HotCarNut Defender of Reality
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    I don't think they'll try to relaunch Peugeot here. I think they'll be badged Chrysler. Tavares seems to understand that certain brands resonate strongly in certain markets, but have zero appeal elsewhere. The goal will be to spread development costs on future powertrains across nameplates and models globally rather than just regionally. It's the only way that the combined entity can keep pace with Toyota, VW, etc. but it doesn't require spreading brands further (except China - need more penetration there from a brand or combination thereof.)
     
  5. FreeLantz

    FreeLantz Well-Known Jeeper

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    Their plan for Alfa was way too ambitious. As a smaller (three or four models, tops) luxury-performance brand it is viable. They've got to work on the dealer experience, which right now is probably very poor compared to what those buyers are used to from BMW, M-B, et al.
     
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  6. LeeRyder

    LeeRyder Well-Known Member

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    Same question for fiat.

    There is just nothing there appealing to the US market.
    500? Nope.
    Rebadged miata? Nope.

    And these itty bitty engines, just don't suit the US market.

    Peugeot line up I have higher hopes for.

    Alfa though... no one goes for Italian brands for quality.
    Style, perhaps... but not quality. And given the price point on Alfa's.. they're simply too expensive to be throwaway cars like the 500.
     
  7. hmk123

    Level III Supporter

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    In my opinion Alfa tried to copy BMW and it could have worked but then Tesla and CUVs happened. Alfa didn’t just fail here. I keep looking at their German sales since that should be a big market for them in Europe. Jeeps keeps outselling Alfa. I wish all the best for Alfa but it is going to be tough.
     
  8. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    Alfa is not a mainstream luxury sport brand as it's trying to be made. It's better off being a niche brand. Maserati is in the same boat. They both need one thing, better dealer experiences.
     
  9. williev

    williev Active Member

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    The Alfa Romeo brand was a waste of money period! FCA should have put this money into the Dodge and Chrysler brands.
     
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  10. aldo90731

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    My two takeaways from this article are:
    1. Money talks at FCA. For the decision makers it is not about what is Italian and what is American, but what maximizes profits. Personally, I can’t argue with that —well, perhaps that it would be nice if FCA invested more on getting its brands off the bottom of the quality and customer service charts.
    2. They got Alfa Romeo wrong, just like they got Fiat wrong in N.A. —and increasingly looks like they are getting Maserati wrong. By extension, I’d argue they also got Chrysler wrong, and to a some extent Dodge.
      • Judging by the thousands of posts on here, FCA just doesn’t get Chrysler. And Dodge’s Muscle Car positioning works as long as fuel remains cheap and the economy keeps booming. Unfortunately, I don’t see a Plan B for either of them.
    Hopefully, Tavares brings the clarity of vision that has been missing.
     
    #11 aldo90731, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  11. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    The Spyder would have sold like hot cakes if it was branded as a Dodge and sold in our dealers. The other Alfa’s are goofy looking
     
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  12. hmk123

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    You make very good points. How soon do you think Tavares will start setting directions at FCA?
     
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  13. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, they need his guidance now, but in reality at least a year away.
     
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  14. serpens

    serpens Well-Known Member

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    You think so? I’m not convinced any small 2 seater convertible would’ve sold like hot cakes in this market outside of the Miata. The luxury market for such a car has hit headwinds too despite continued investment (Boxster, SLC/SLK, Z4).
     
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  15. ECT72

    ECT72 Active Member

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    As current owner of a Stelvio (now over 30k) miles - mostly trouble free- I wonder; how can anyone expect Alfa to sell more than 120k cars with only TWO models??

    Btw— love the car.
     
  16. aldo90731

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    We had a rule of thumb at my last employer:

    Imagine any 4-door sedan/SUV -> you start with 100% demand for that model
    Take away 2 doors -> you end up with 10% of the original demand
    Take away the back seats -> you end up with 10% of the coupe’s demand...or 1% of total demand for that model
    • Wrangler sales are following this pattern. At last count, sales of 2-door Wranglers were 20%-15% of total, and continue declining.
    • Civic coupe sales are about 10% of total Civic sales; Accord coupe sales were about 10% of total Accord sales before it was phased out.
    Miata sales have “acceptable” levels in part because it has a continuous 30-year history. Over that time, Miata has established market awareness, a reputation, and a loyal owner base. Corvette’s story is somewhat similar.

    For Fiat to break into the roadster market, FCA needed a 10-to-20-year strategy. But as usual, it expected an overnight miracle. Dodge may have done slightly better on these shores given that the Dodge name has greater recognition, but nevertheless, low demand for 2-seat roadsters would have kept sales constrained. Overall, a Fiat 124 Spider is an easier sell in overseas markets.
     
  17. aldo90731

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    I don’t know. Depends how soon the merger and his new role are formalized.

    Everything I’ve heard about him is that he is a high-energy, hands-on leader. So I’d expect one of his first actions to set up a task force to develop a corporate-wide brand strategy. Presumably it will be a professionally developed strategy, with a distinctive, actionable market positioning for each brand —as opposed to the pseudo-positioning FCA concocted for Chrysler, Fiat USA, Alfa Romeo, etc.

    Developing a proper market positioning can take 6 to 12 months for each brand. Chances are he will have teams working in parallel in Europe and N.A. to speed up the process.

    For starters, there’s evidence that Tavares takes product quality very seriously. That alone would be an ingredient that has been missing in FCA strategy.
     
    #18 aldo90731, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  18. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Agreed. Product quality and branding... two new ideas for Chrysler...at least new since Daimler.

    I think Maserati was well imagined, but not well executed. The Quattroporte was a big hit, but the Ghibli cheapened the series too much. Alfa Romeo seemed to have been designed to please auto writers, rather than buyers.

    Fiat was well imagined but not well executed, too. Timing was also an issue. The Fiat 500 was a fun little car and started to get a following, but quality was the big issue - and the crazy stereo controls - and the lack of an extension to help drivers grab the seat belt. The others were just not competitive...

    Chrysler is, to a large degree, still suffering from the loss of Plymouth and taking on the Voyager...
     
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  19. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    Can Alfa be saved? Sure. Will it? Who knows. The same can be said of several FCA brands. One thing it would require outside of a well-defined brand strategy, is a coherent marketing strategy which for FCA up to this point could best be described as haphazard at best.

    Turning around multiple brands will require significant amounts of investment into each of them, but is there going to be enough $$ to go around? Will they have the focus and determination, over the long run to devote to these efforts? Because it will take time. You can’t just throw up your hands when your initial efforts aren’t an immediate success and say this ain’t gonna work (well...you can, but it’s not the best plan). That’d be like giving up on the D-Day landings because the initial waves encountered tough resistance and took high casualties.

    We’ll see. Mr Tavares seems to have a good record for turning around struggling brands. And hopefully he can address the quality and dealer experiences too.

    I’m optimistic until proven otherwise.
     
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