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Can Alfa Romeo be saved?

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

  1. cygnus

    cygnus Well-Known Member

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    Alfa needs something different, fast.

    The tastes in the $40-60K price point range have drastically changed in the last twenty years. Millennials don’t have a discerning eye for quality or craftsmanship if it can be offset by the vehicle being an EV/performant/connected. Tesla is proof of this. It’s the reason why Millenials today are more connected than the generation that proceeded them in having iPhones, but they can’t afford to buy a house. We live in clown world.

    Tesla is garbage, I’d never buy one. But it’s a company with a $75 billion dollar market cap (that will eventually go down as an Enron like fraud) that could only exist in a ZIRP environment. All Unicorns (WeWork, Snapchat, Uber) have been slain - most of are down 40-50% post IPO while the S&P is up 30% during the same period. If this was an actual recession, they’d be dead. Tesla is the last unicorn standing.

    The way to defeat Tesla and save Alfa/Maeserati is to beat Tesla at battery energy capacity / vehicle performance. If a company with a hundred history year can’t do that, then we’re just entering a period of gradual decline for Alfa/Maesarati. There’s no coming back from this. You don’t actually understand the people you’re trying to sell to.

    Tonale will get sales, but not what people are expecting. MCA refreshes of Giulia and Stelvio will move the needle, but not enough. New Maesarati launches will be heralded by the automotive press, but sales will be disappointing.

    Ford is giving it a good shot with Mach E. I’d like to see FCA do the same.
     
  2. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    There are certain upper-crust brands, like Jaguar, that cannot handle expanding downmarket very well. Looks like Maserati is in this category. These brands are known for their exotic designs, superior performance, exquisite craftsmanship and relative rarity. But they just lack the basic day-to-day reliability that is expected of a daily driver.

    When brands like Jaguar and Maserati expand downmarket, they (1) alienate existing owners who feel their exotic brand is selling its soul to chase after the riff-raff and; (2) attract a type of household that stretches itself financially to get into an upper crust brand.

    Ironically, buyers in the first group are okay with these brands’ quirks because they value their rarity. Besides they own multiple vehicles, so these vehicles usually fulfill secondary roles in the household. Meanwhile, the second group expects absolute perfection precisely because they stretched themselves financially, and need this vehicle to fulfill a primary role in the household. But what they find is questionable reliability, unexpected quirks and never-ending inconvenience.

    The further down we go in price, the more important day-to-day reliability becomes. From this standpoint, Alfa Romeo needed to deliver a level of quality that, judging by the media reviews, simply wasn't there.
     
    #22 aldo90731, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  3. jclick

    jclick Well-Known Member

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    Mach E already looks old. I give it an A for tech. I give it an F for style. Sorry but it totally looks like a focus wagon that it was originally based.
     
    Citation84 and pumadog like this.
  4. dartndodge

    dartndodge Well-Known Member

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    Crikey, why dont they do the obvious.
    Wrap Alfa and Maserati in together, with Ferrari taking the lead....maybe.
    Stop trying to make "Sports Car" makers into generic Korean cars for every moment.
    They are Iconic Sport Car companies, so let them make sports cars.....not fn SUVs.
    The SUV thing will poop out, it is already heading that way....diesels are out, unstable dangerous handling is out, economical cheap motoring is in. Individuality is in again. SUVs are more expensive than cars to operate.
    Have some faith for the young ones.
    My 22yo lad is working on his 2000 Cougar, a nice sport coupe....he just bought a 69 Cougar project.
    His friend has an RX8, others have v8s.
    Many young car U tubers are buying Turbos and V8s, buying MR2s and modifying them, older 90s/2000 sport coupes etc etc, its all over the YT.
    Young guys (and some gals) are showing the finger to the Generic "Old Peoples" SUVs etc.
    Its the Oldies and families that want high riding family wagons, not the kids.
    Make sporty cars again, make 2 door cars for the youth market again.....they will come.
    When they have money, they will buy.
    I notice how many young people are getting into bikes again, lots of high performance motorbikes in small cubes around now, making magic high rev sounds and performance........Harley are for the old Folks.
    :).
     
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  5. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    Do not worry the Young do grow up in good time, Then they move to the Gold Standard, Harley Davidson. This is nothing new, It’s been this way forever.
     
    Chris mopar likes this.
  6. Chris mopar

    Chris mopar Well-Known Member

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    Same for the cars too, once these young people have family’s and income, they will be driving SUV’s too, most will be mhev, fhev, phev and bev though.
     
  7. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't count on these "Kids" following in everyone's footsteps.
     
    Tony K and cygnus like this.
  8. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    Pretty hard buying vehicles when your still paying on your Liberal Arts degree.
     
  9. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    Wow, I did not know Ford ever made a Focus wagon.
     
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  10. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    It’s hard to buy ANYTHING when you’re still paying for ANY type of degree nowadays. College is ridiculously expensive now, and I can imagine how much it’ll cost when my kids are old enough in 13 years or so. Most of the kids that I work with are saddled with a lot of debt from their undergrad degrees (all BSN’s) and even more with their graduate degrees too...though we do have tuition reimbursement, it doesn’t nearly cover all of the tuition expenses. And despite all of this, many have their own vehicles and many have purchased their own homes too. Millennials yes...go-getters definitely.

    If there’s a will, there’s a way.
     
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  11. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    Meanwhile, many well paying non collegiate jobs go unfilled because college, which I'm not against by the way, is pushed on children from an early age, as the only way to earn a good living.
     
    Mr. Fusion, Citation84, tlc and 2 others like this.
  12. williev

    williev Active Member

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    Dare I say, it seems a college education is becoming out of reach! I was talking to a intern doctor who told me that when it all said and done, he will owe over $210,000 in student loans! Insane!
     
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  13. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    German executive car purchases are nearly all German brands. That pretty much limits Giulia in Germany to personal purchases, which probably explains why as in the US, the Giulia QV sales numbers vs overall Giulia sales are said to be so high relatively speaking. Stelvio is a bit quirky, not the everyman's SUV/CUV.

    Doubtful. Sedans are really an abberation if you look at transportation history. SUVs are really the norm, but yes, childless professionals and empty-nesters making big bucks will buy sedans and coupes perhaps as status symbols the way they buy 3er and 5er BMWs now, but still, those vehicles probably aren't going to all be the low-slung vehicle with poor visibility of a current coupe/sedan.
     
    Mr. Fusion likes this.
  14. jclick

    jclick Well-Known Member

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    Check out the origins of the mach E platform and the switch from focus wagon/hatch idea to mustang.
     
  15. codypet

    codypet Well-Known Member

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    I have an engineering degree (bachelors and masters) and paying for some of these cars are just insane. I had the privilege graduate right as the recession was taking hold (try finding work fresh out of school when even 20yr veterans are out of work.) Anyway, I'm looking at used Pacificas because the price of new coupled with the depreciation just doesn't justify us buying anything new.
     
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  16. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    I had not heard that before. It would make sense to base it on Mustang vs a boring Focus wagon, especially if they actually expect to sell more than a dozen of them. Lol.
     
  17. FreeLantz

    FreeLantz Well-Known Jeeper

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    Older millennials (the ones pushing 40) already are. They're buying homes, they're buying traditional SUV's and minivans, but sedans not so much. I'm 41 so considered a Gen-X'er but have many friends still in their late 30's, who are considered millenials, and they don't behave much differently. The younger millenials, and the generation that comes after them (now in their early 20's) may be different but only time will tell. I always felt that it wasn't so much that the early millennials had a disinterest in owning cars, as was often reported a decade or so ago, as much as the economy was so bad then that they couldn't afford one. Remember around that same time "Cash for Clunkers" devastated the low end of the used car market and took many "first cars" off the road, pushing up prices on used cars across the board.
     
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  18. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Sedan popularity is still a regional thing. Sedans are much more popular here in Pittsburgh than they were in Atalanta (even with the weather FWD and RWD sedans are common, though there are some AWD ones too).
    Chevrolet's models are especially popular (as is the Chevy brand overall). I suspect they'll send several loyal Malibu and Impala customers to the Japanese brand showrooms next time around as these cars disappear. There are a lot of people who are very frugal with their transportation dollars. I've never imagined so many Suzuki's still exits (see link below), I see at least one different SX4 per day out running errands. And the Mitsubishi Mirage and Outlanders sell well.

    Dealer Makes A Killing With The Death Of Suzuki (at https://jalopnik.com/dealer-makes-a-killing-with-the-death-of-suzuki-476681473 )
     
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  19. codypet

    codypet Well-Known Member

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    This absolutely this! I'm 35 and therefore portrayed as a lazy millenial, but it really was a struggle the first few years out if college. Most of my friends are just now able to afford to buy homes and new cars. With the thought of a recession fresh in their minds, they're going the practical "safe" route trying to predict 10-15 years into the future about their vehicle needs.
     
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  20. wvutuba

    wvutuba Well-Known Member

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    College cost me $40,060.20. Actually, that was what my student loans cost me. There was more money spent there that I earned from my summer jobs, etc. that wasn't accounted for in that figure. I don't have a liberal arts degree, I went in-state, and I had a full tuition scholarship. After I graduated (2013), I lived with my parents for 5 years and saved my money so I could pay off my student loans. The only extravagant (and ultimately foolish) thing I did was buying my Jeep at 23. I discovered how easy it was get financing and pulled the trigger on a fun vehicle, despite having a working (though aging) 2003 Dodge Caravan at the time. I got my loans paid off in a little over 4 years, which saved myself thousands of dollars in interest payments I would have made had I paid it off on schedule.

    I'm now 28. I have an decent paying job, but I also have a mortgage. Yes, I live in a super low cost of living area, but once you add in all of the other bills, groceries, and setting aside some money for savings, there isn't a lot of mess around with. Now that I know what it is like to finance a vehicle, the notion of spending more than $30,000 on a vehicle seems completely irresponsible to me, despite the fact that I am in a better financial situation than I was when I was 23. That puts a lot of FCA vehicles out of my reach.

    My girlfriend and likely future wife wants a farm because her long term goal is to manage a equestrian stable as a profession. That means moving back towards the more rural area I grew up in versus the kinda urban area I currently live in. I'm considering changing jobs soon too. If I move to the more rural area, the commute won't be as bad. But right now, if I get the job I'm looking at, that will mean going from a 3 mile one-way commute to a 50 mile one-way commute. If I do that, the 15 mpg Jeep won't cut it anymore and I'll be looking at getting a different vehicle. Continuing to look at my future (marriage, kids, etc.), financing a new car for commuting purposes seems like a bad idea, so I'll be looking for a used vehicle that is reliable and gets good gas mileage. Again, that starts to push me away from FCA vehicles.

    I know the general perception is that when we're not killing the *insert whatever industry is in a downturn and looking to pass their faults onto somebody else* industry, millennials are sitting around and eating avocado toast at brunch. But the reality is, most of us are just trying to make ends meet in an increasingly expensive world.
     

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