Giulia Sales in Europe and US...another 159 saga? - Page 8 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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... we have to acknowledge that the Giulia isn't to everyone's taste, most drivers today don't want a car with instant micro response to the steering, one that makes you think that your hands are in direct contact with the contact patch of the tyres, but I and I imagine most on this forum do, and that sums up Alfa appeal for me, but face it, we're a minority.
Exactly what I think when I drive my 2002 GTA (and add the Busso symphony to that).

Yes we are a minority, but we won't disappear! I was reading on the AROC magazine that the AROC members number is actually increasing ... (!)

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They wouldn’t have to support the older models if you bought a new one!
Are they any worse than the other competitors?
It is nice to see a GT or 147/156 still driving around and it’d be a good ad for the marque.
I don't know about parts availability for 1-3 year old cars. Not sure if they are better or worse in that regard. But certainly as soon as a car stops being produced, parts for Alfas quickly become unavailable and it has been the case for the ten years that I've been working on them. The first one I remember was a 5 year old 147 GTA getting written off because new engines were out of stock and out of production. We ended up building a 3.8 conversion for it and the car is still on the road carrying it's cat D marker, but the crank that went into that engine meant buying & breaking another 3.2 for the supply. Mitos don't tend to suffer so much because so much is shared with the Punto. But a lot of the Brera parts are unavailable now. You can't buy an oil segregator for a 1750 engine for a 159 or early Giulietta TBI, someone on here recently had to buy a broken engine from a scrapyard to salvage a segregator from. Its a bad show when the manufacturer doesn't support even the previous generation of cars. I can understand it if they were discontinuing stuff for 155s and the like now - thats fair game. But everything should be available for at least a decade after the last one rolls off the production line, there is even meant to be a law enforcing it but it doesn't ever seem to be enforced. When I owed my '86 BMW 3 series a few years back, I got a load of bits directly from the main dealer, window seals and trim clips and odd bits like that. Quite a lot of it was available next working day, some stuff had to come from Germany and was 3 days. I've got a lot of respect for BMW for doing what they do to keep the older models on the road. Not sure if it makes them any money in the short term, but its good practice.

I'll be looking for a Giulia when they come out of warranty, Veloce with handling pack or maybe a V6, depending on the price difference.
I think there are tons of spare parts for Older Alfa’s offered by German suppliers.
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I think there are tons of spare parts for Older Alfa’s offered by German suppliers.
Most of them are just continuations of pattern parts made when the car was new, or old stock, nothing new being made. There are exceptions if you head into the performance side of things, but then you pay the price for the extra strengthening, lightening, etc.

For example I've been searching for 3 months for a 75 v6 flywheel, don't care if it's 2.5 or 3.0, don't care if it's NOS, used or even so rusty it'll need attention from an engineering shop. Nothing anywhere in the world. Except for a new lightened and balanced billet flywheel from a US performance shop for £800!

Ditto with say a Busso crankshaft - heaven help you if you need to get a GTA going urgently after it's spun a bearing or cooked it's ecu. You could be waiting months for something new or old to pop up somewhere, and then you have to be prepared to pay four figures for it. But if I need a new lightened crankshaft for a 25 year old Subaru which was never even officially imported into the UK, I can have it sitting on my doorstep within a couple of days, £400 all in.

No bother to me - I've got a nice performance Subaru as a daily and all the time in the world to collect bits for a classic 116 series project, but IMO it's a real gamble (even allowing for the inevitable electrical tantrums) trying to run a 10+ year old Alfa as your only car once the parts start to run out.

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Sadly, I don't think AR are really aiming their new product at the bulk of passionate and knowledgeable long term members on this forum. They want converts from other marques who change their car every 2-3 years and who are prepared to pay >£40k for their car, not people who run a ten year old as a daily and who aren't prepared to buy a new car.

I fully concede that not being able to get parts easily for cars under 20 years old is rubbish, but is supplying parts to such a limited market really going to be what saves Alfa or is shifting new product, changing (fairly deep seated) negative perception and improving reliability and dealer service standards going to be where it's at?

They need new buyers, not enthusiasts who are waiting for used product to reach a low enough price point so they can bag 'a lot of car for the money' and then run it for the next 10 years.

Just saying.
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Sadly, I don't think AR are really aiming their new product at the bulk of passionate and knowledgeable long term members on this forum. They want converts from other marques who change their car every 2-3 years and who are prepared to pay >£40k for their car, not people who run a ten year old as a daily and who aren't prepared to buy a new car.

I fully concede that not being able to get parts easily for cars under 20 years old is rubbish, but is supplying parts to such a limited market really going to be what saves Alfa or is shifting new product, changing (fairly deep seated) negative perception and improving reliability and dealer service standards going to be where it's at?

They need new buyers, not enthusiasts who are waiting for used product to reach a low enough price point so they can bag 'a lot of car for the money' and then run it for the next 10 years.

Just saying.
True enough, but it always goes horribly wrong when they try to nab non-enthusiast new car buyers - the 156 was extremely popular thanks to it's lovely looks, impressive noise (for the v6) and powerful, ground-breaking diesel, but after a few years the lousy dealer network left most of these new buyers flogging their 156s off cheap after slating them on Which? etc and swearing never to buy another Alfa thanks to poorly-understood minor issues like the TS' variator... Alfa's sales plummeted to record low levels as a combination of that, and the replacement 159 being designed to take on BMW rather than appealing to enthusiasts.

And of course the Sud's infamous rust issues and over complex / expensive to fix handbrake stopped Alfa from becoming one of the big players in the 70s/80s - everyone loved them but Alfa sales still plummeted once the issues started to gain publicity. The handbrake issue is probably what started the "designed by lunatics, maintained by fanatics" 'meme' about Alfa for example.

Admittedly some of this is down to bad luck (if the 156 hadn't been so pretty it wouldn't have done so well, and the equally pretty but more robust/stodgy 159 would have probably picked up the new buyers instead and kept them) but most of it's down to corporate carelessness, and that's earned Alfa a reputation which is hard to break.

And unavailability of parts for older models won't help one little bit with that reputation; you can just imagine the conversations in 3rd party garages when you take the car in for a service "Sorry mate, I can't service it. Alfa only design them to last for 3 years and yours is 4 years old so I can't get the parts for it" and suchlike, and the followup rants in the popular media from disgruntled owners.

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Sadly, I don't think AR are really aiming their new product at the bulk of passionate and knowledgeable long term members on this forum. They want converts from other marques who change their car every 2-3 years and who are prepared to pay >£40k for their car, not people who run a ten year old as a daily and who aren't prepared to buy a new car.

I fully concede that not being able to get parts easily for cars under 20 years old is rubbish, but is supplying parts to such a limited market really going to be what saves Alfa or is shifting new product, changing (fairly deep seated) negative perception and improving reliability and dealer service standards going to be where it's at?

They need new buyers, not enthusiasts who are waiting for used product to reach a low enough price point so they can bag 'a lot of car for the money' and then run it for the next 10 years.

Just saying.
New car buyers need buyers of 2-3 year old cars to make their purchases/leases affordable. Buyers of 2-3 year old cars need buyers of 3-7 year old cars etc etc etc. You can't have one without the other, everyone in the chain is required for the chain to work.

Low residuals and high parts prices / unavailable parts is part of what makes Alfa quite often more expensive for the new car buyer than something like a BMW or an Audi which has a higher list price. It all goes hand in hand. If they could sort the reputation & parts supply at the same time, the values of used Alfas would remain higher, more cars would stay on the road, Alfa would have a higher profile and that would translate into more new Alfa purchases. What this requires is investment. They've already invested billions into the Giulia/Stelvio platform but the selling/maintaining infrastructure isn't up to the standard of the cars themselves.
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..re parts availability, as I understand it manufacturers are obliged to supply parts for 10 after a given model finishes production alright. Could it be that Alfa UK just doesn't bother keeping up? An Italian friend of mine always told me he could get absolutely anything I wanted back in Italy..

My 164 was at the end of the model's production run in '97, and 22 years later I've only just started to run into the parts wall. Consumables aren't really a problem, but the stuff that never broke much is.. rear shocks tend to fail and are still easy to get, but I now need front shocks for the first time and guess what..
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When I had one of the few Lancia Delta HPEs in the country I ended up on the phone line to the head of spares at Fiat UK in Slough about getting a slam panel and he was offering to send a couple from Dedras to chose from and for me to send any back that weren’t any use. I think the issue is that parts have to be ordered in minimum numbers of ten or so and nobody wants to be stuck with nine useless parts.
BMW dealers used to have posters in the parts departments suggesting an upgrade of bumper design if you were having a repair. The reason was that they change design so often it limits this risk.
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I think the issue is that parts have to be ordered in minimum numbers of ten or so and nobody wants to be stuck with nine useless parts..
If that is the case it sounds like what UK Alfa owners need is for some 3rd party to get approved by Alfa as a parts supplier so they can get full access to eper, and set up a nice online parts catalogue for all these hard to get bits. Simple for Subarus (e.g. need an obscure plastic pipe doobrey for your 25 year old grey import twinturbo? No worries, go to importcarparts.co.uk! Front of your 15 year old Forester has been squashed flat by a steam roller? No worries, there's plenty of direct-import new panels on jp-carparts.com, etc) but I'm sure not so simple for Alfas.

Maybe it could make a nice weekend project for @Pud237

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Pud hasn’t responded to my finding impossible to find Brera door mirrors at Shop4Parts yet.
Maybe that’s what they’re doing?
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If that is the case it sounds like what UK Alfa owners need is for some 3rd party to get approved by Alfa as a parts supplier so they can get full access to eper, and set up a nice online parts catalogue for all these hard to get bits. Simple for Subarus (e.g. need an obscure plastic pipe doobrey for your 25 year old grey import twinturbo? No worries, go to importcarparts.co.uk! Front of your 15 year old Forester has been squashed flat by a steam roller? No worries, there's plenty of direct-import new panels on jp-carparts.com, etc) but I'm sure not so simple for Alfas.

Maybe it could make a nice weekend project for @Pud237
S4P do this already, they order direct from Fiat in Italy, same place as ARUK order from.
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Pud hasn’t responded to my finding impossible to find Brera door mirrors at Shop4Parts yet.
Maybe that’s what they’re doing?
That's really good news if they're available from Alfa again (rather than S4P having found a load of new-old stock somewhere, like I did with GTA flywheels last year)
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That seems to be what wiggle does with bicycle parts. They sell obsolete parts sometimes...
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S4P do this already, they order direct from Fiat in Italy, same place as ARUK order from.
Looks like the parts available for older vehicles (i.e. Brera and before) are v limited which I guess proves Alfa's cupboards really are bare, even in Italy...

Totally barking. Nope, beyond even barking. Totally Dagenham!
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I hear parts are very hard to come by from new if you’ve bought a Tesla. My neighbour was without his Model X for a long time when the heater didn’t. At one time they had run out of Tesla loan cars and he was driving a Mercedes M class rented by Tesla.
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I hear parts are very hard to come by from new if you’ve bought a Tesla. My neighbour was without his Model X for a long time when the heater didn’t. At one time they had run out of Tesla loan cars and he was driving a Mercedes M class rented by Tesla.
And 2nd hand parts for a Tesla would be quite hard to come by too since they'd all be burnt

Tesla is still effectively a startup without any legacy models, so difficult to say how they'll handle long-term parts distribution, but Tesla is facing even more buyer defections than Alfa even in it's heady 156 days and it's share prices are plummeting, so they're definitely not an example of how to do things the 'right way'.
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The Toyota “sales advisor” who sold us our IQ told me he’d been working at a car supermarket when the first Teslas were getting out of the network and he’d taken them for a test drive with all the menus on the big iPad just to turn up the fan. They’re out of novelty time and will find their own price level. Whether Tesla will be interested in or capable of supporting third hand cars, who knows?
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The Toyota “sales advisor” who sold us our IQ told me he’d been working at a car supermarket when the first Teslas were getting out of the network and he’d taken them for a test drive with all the menus on the big iPad just to turn up the fan. They’re out of novelty time and will find their own price level. Whether Tesla will be interested in or capable of supporting third hand cars, who knows?
And will Tesla even exist as an independent car manufacturer by then?

They seem very much like a small-scale Borgward both in the level of innovation, and media / market reaction to their 'difficult' owner and fluctuating sales. And everyone who's read their BMW history books knows what happened to Borgward, wonder if the new FCA boss is as astute as Marchionne at spotting bargains when they pop up?
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Folks, the "dying segment" thing is irrelevant - BMW and Audi still sell tonnes of 3-Series / A4s, they're the repmobiles of choice.

I've been "collecting data and opinions" for a long time, talking to people, asking them more or less directly why wouldn't they even consider an Alfa Romeo, lurking on forums, putting on posts/threads; The "dealership network", aftercare and whatnot are valid concerns for sure, but they aren't the real reason they cars don't sell.

A few days ago, I was having a chat with a "big honcho" from a multinational software company; He's something like "Regional Director" or the likes. At some point the discussion touched on cars (he mentioned having to collect his from service), and I immediately thought "Audi A6". So I asked - what car is it? And guess what? But an Audi A6 of course.

Why did I mention this? Because, from my personal experience annoying anyone within a 200 meters radius of me about "why wouldn't you buy an Alfa?", it's stupendously clear the #1 issue is that of IMAGE.

As simple as it is, the vast majority of the average Joe and Jane don't see Alfa Romeo as a desirable, upmarket, "premium" brand; They don't put it in the same breadth as BMW, Audi or Mercedes or even Lexus; The vast majority of the public sees it as something akin to Opel, Honda or Ford, brands that aren't status symbols, aren't envied, aren't coveted. In this context, they find the price of a Giulia, roughly similar to a BMW or Audi, to be unjustifiable - in their view, it's not a car that makes your neighbour envy you and your success/money, at best it's a car that makes them think "pretty!" and pass over. In short, Alfa Romeo is not seen as a status symbol, and if you're asking the price of a brand that is seen as one, it's going to be a though sell; The average buyer doesn't understand a flying fcuk about handling, balance, performance - they want Billy down the road to envy them; Failing that, they just want something inexpensive that works.

Alfa are in the toughest possible situation: they'd need to find a way to get back onto the status symbol podium, while also keeping the enthusiast core of their small but existing customer base happy. There's no easy fix for that - and it may mean getting back into doing "cheap and sporty" cars to initially attract younger customers with a competitive price point, while working to gradually build an upmarket image over the coming years.
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Folks, the "dying segment" thing is irrelevant - BMW and Audi still sell tonnes of 3-Series / A4s, they're the repmobiles of choice.

I've been "collecting data and opinions" for a long time, talking to people, asking them more or less directly why wouldn't they even consider an Alfa Romeo, lurking on forums, putting on posts/threads; The "dealership network", aftercare and whatnot are valid concerns for sure, but they aren't the real reason they cars don't sell.

A few days ago, I was having a chat with a "big honcho" from a multinational software company; He's something like "Regional Director" or the likes. At some point the discussion touched on cars (he mentioned having to collect his from service), and I immediately thought "Audi A6". So I asked - what car is it? And guess what? But an Audi A6 of course.

Why did I mention this? Because, from my personal experience annoying anyone within a 200 meters radius of me about "why wouldn't you buy an Alfa?", it's stupendously clear the #1 issue is that of IMAGE.

As simple as it is, the vast majority of the average Joe and Jane don't see Alfa Romeo as a desirable, upmarket, "premium" brand; They don't put it in the same breadth as BMW, Audi or Mercedes or even Lexus; The vast majority of the public sees it as something akin to Opel, Honda or Ford, brands that aren't status symbols, aren't envied, aren't coveted. In this context, they find the price of a Giulia, roughly similar to a BMW or Audi, to be unjustifiable - in their view, it's not a car that makes your neighbour envy you and your success/money, at best it's a car that makes them think "pretty!" and pass over. In short, Alfa Romeo is not seen as a status symbol, and if you're asking the price of a brand that is seen as one, it's going to be a though sell; The average buyer doesn't understand a flying fcuk about handling, balance, performance - they want Billy down the road to envy them; Failing that, they just want something inexpensive that works.

Alfa are in the toughest possible situation: they'd need to find a way to get back onto the status symbol podium, while also keeping the enthusiast core of their small but existing customer base happy. There's no easy fix for that - and it may mean getting back into doing "cheap and sporty" cars to initially attract younger customers with a competitive price point, while working to gradually build an upmarket image over the coming years.
yeah image is a biggy with a lot folk

A woman i know called the Alfa a tarted up Fiat

I prefer the image of Alfa to BMW et al it was one of the reasons I bought one .
kind of left field choice ' a bit of maverick - the sort of car interesting and intelligent people choose.
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Trouble is Hector, they said that of Saab. Look where they are now!
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Trouble is Hector, they said that of Saab. Look where they are now!
Yeah that's a worry , I liked SAAB
but I can't see Alfa breaking into the luxury market any time soon so maybe they will remain niche but sell enough units to remain in business or alternatively get taken over by a big group and become one of their niche brands a bit like Lamborghini is to Audi group ( albeit not supercars )
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yeah image is a biggy with a lot folk

A woman i know called the Alfa a tarted up Fiat
Common enough - even in Italy. Funny thing is - I've discovered a lot of people don't know that A - Ferrari is owned by Fiat (well, FCA), just like Alfa Romeo; B - Alfa Romeo and Ferrari are more closely related than any other two manufacturers on the market. It really sticks out compared to, for example, the whole Audi/Volkswagen/SEAT/Skoda thing, were people don't say an Audi is a "tarted up VW" but say a Skoda or a SEAT are basically an Audi.

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I prefer the image of Alfa to BMW et al it was one of the reasons I bought one .
kind of left field choice ' a bit of maverick - the sort of car interesting and intelligent people choose.
That's where the horse dies horribly - I agree with you; As much as I tried to persuade myself of the contrary, picturing me pulling up in a BMW or Audi just doesn't work, even something like an M4/S5 still have that "Tom, Dick and Harry" aura in my eyes (most can't distinguish them from the usual diesel crud). People would say "oh wow, great car!" and think "uh, he must be making a pretty penny", but I'd see myself as a phony, I'd never be happy with something everyone else has and I'd probably be coming across as an especial ******** as I'd be pointing out to everyone it's not a cheap ass wannabe diesel one, but a 6-cylinders that burns babies for fuel.

In the eyes of Joe and Jane from the street, however, I and you are the fools - driving a "tarted up Fiat" that costs an amount that "you could afford a BMW or Audi" for. When you're trying to sell cars, this is an enormous problem.

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Yeah that's a worry , I liked SAAB
but I can't see Alfa breaking into the luxury market any time soon so maybe they will remain niche but sell enough units to remain in business or alternatively get taken over by a big group and become one of their niche brands a bit like Lamborghini is to Audi group ( albeit not supercars )
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Trouble is Hector, they said that of Saab. Look where they are now!
Big problem is who they sell to - sell to a Chinese / Korean group and the fate of the brand will be sealed; Even Hyundai or KIA don't have the reputation to overshadow the commonly ingrained bad one Alfa has, and they'd just be called "tarded up KIAs" instead of tarted up FIATs. I am afraid that, if Alfa Romeo comes to a point where FCA absolutely have to sell it, nothing short of the VAG group will have the sheer marketing power to turn it around.
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yeah image is a biggy with a lot folk

I prefer the image of Alfa to BMW et al it was one of the reasons I bought one .
kind of left field choice ' a bit of maverick - the sort of car interesting and intelligent people choose.
This is one of the reasons why I chose the QF when needing to change my Audi. What a great car the QF is.
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Take 6k off every list price (which is easily achievable anyway) and they will sell more cars - to ford and Vauxhall’s buyers.
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