Sorry, but I disagree that it's utter madness. The car doesn't sell well now, and never really has sold in vast numbers, so it is pointless running production lines producing cars not many people want to buy. Far better to put that line to better use producing something that does sell, which then pays the bills to develop new models. I doubt even 5% of people have the faintest clue whether a Panda is built in Italy or Poland, and even less would care.
Alfa Romeo is a business - it is meant to make money, not produce some niche product for a dwindling handful of brand enthusiasts. That's what companies like Morgan do, not off-shoots of one of the world's largest car companies. IMO it's cobblers to say they need to stumble on forever producing something just because it is of a certain size - people aren't stupid, they won't forget a name in two years just because they only ever look at one size of vehicle. As long as the Guilietta and Mito continue to sell well (and there's plenty of them on the roads) the people interested in larger vehicles will remember the name and be interested when the Guilia finally appears. You may also have noticed that small cars outsell larger ones by a long way, especially as Focus/Astra/Guilietta class vehicles carry a family with the same ease a Mondeo-size car did 10 years ago.
How many people on here bought a brand new 159 in the last 12-18 months? Not many I bet - and we're meant to be the enthusiasts.
You're entitled to your opinion, but i stick to mine. There are comments on car magazine forums, Fiat Forum etc all saying the like of 'Oh well if the Italians are building the new Panda i'd better snap-up a current model abit quick'. The Italian factories are better than they were but the Polish built 500 & Panda wipes the floor with anything coming out of Italy in terms of quality.
The 159 has never sold in vast numbers (i said that in my post) but there was never really alot to get people into the showrooms other than the 159, which its fair to say didn't set the press World on fire like the Giulietta has. There was the decent (but by 2006, oldish) 147 & GT, and a so-so offering from the Brera/Spider. Now Alfa have two cars in the MiTo & Giulietta that have genuine showroom appeal & whilst people are oggling over them they can also see, in the background, that little known beauty that is the 159.
I've seen a number of 10, 60 & 11 plate cars on my travels lately, which suggests that something has got people buying 159's again. It's certainly not advertising, might be abit of discounting, but is probably a huge increase in showroom traffic from the other models, along with new engines which can compete with the best on emmisions in the Fleet sector - a sector that'll be very important for the forthcoming Giulia. Alfa should keep the 159 running until such time they've something else to put in its place. A mainstream brand simply doesn't carry-on with a two model line-up & i'm pretty sure FGA have production capacity somewhere, given the number of low selling products in their range.
And there's no need to address me with abrupt language like 'cobblers', either. I may be under 30 but this is a car forum, not Bebo or YouTube.