How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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View Poll Results: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?
Less than a year (The 159 & Brera will fail to sell so they call it quits) 0 0%
1 to 2 years (The new cars will sell but Alfa service remains poor) 4 22.22%
They'll always be here (Alfa will improve radically improve it customer service & the new cars will be a hit) 10 55.56%
Other (What do you think?) 4 22.22%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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(Post Link) post #1 of 10 Old 26-01-06 Thread Starter
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How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

Given the fact that sales are massivly down for both Fiat & Alfa (one & the same really) over the last year in the UK and that brand reputation is really low, cars are generally problematic, expensive to fix & service, dealers are generally poor, manufacturer back up, whether through parts availability or through direct customer service is nigh on non existent (let's face it, we get treated like [email protected]), how long do you see Fiat / Alfa lasting in the UK?

Last edited by Squadrone Rosso; 26-01-06 at 07:29.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

i dont know which option to go for as i really dont have a clue how they will go about tackling these mounting problems.

as an alfa lover i would be sad to see it go up in smoke, as a customer i really dont have much to love about the dealers/customer service.

lets just hope they put as much effort into customer side of things as in the design of their cars.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

I have optimistically said they will always be here. I think now is make or break though but hopefully they will be in a good position. Fiat has the grande punto coming which looks fantastic compared to the popular opposition fiesta/corsa/polo/206 with only really the clio coming close with looks. Not forgetting the punto's pricey but highly praised diesel options.

Lets hope too that the 159 and brera will live up to expectations, in enjoyement reliability and build quality. In my opinion even now Alfa are doing better than before, for a smaller niche marque in particular around West London when working there I saw a quite large number of 147's. Service is still something that needs to be looked at, my local dealer is great with no complaints from me and only praise but with the punto I sold my sister we were waiting for over 2 months for parts to arrive from Italy. That is the kind of problem that will cause a minor fault on a £25k+ 159 into something that will turn a driver new to the marque back to the likes of Audi/BMW.

I have got my fingers crossed that they will be around for years to come, there's some good fun cars out there from other makes but i'd rather have an alfa.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

For the cars I have no worries - As Eddie says, they've got a great new range of cars coming out. Very innovative and beautiful.

As for the dealers. Well, I think you all know my thoughts on them.

One thing to think about just prior to the £20k 159 and £30k Brera being launched...

Apart from us Alfisti, how the hell are ARUK going to tempt away the buyers of CLKs, TTs, RX7's, Boxters, 350Z etc etc etc to Alfa, with such a shoddy bunch of couldn't-care-less dealers and service centres.... That's the achilles heel, not the cars themselves IMHO.

For what it's worth, I really don't know if I'd be so heavily into cars and motoring if it wasn't down to Alfa and Fiat....(says him who's going to buy a Barchetta or GTV tomorrow.... )

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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

personally i'd rather have a Fiat/Alfa over anything else on the market, but sadly i'd say the majority of people ireland think they're rubbish. So far in January the Toyota/Merc dealership i work for has sold more new cars than Fiat & Alfa sales combined nationwide!

My local Fiat/Alfa dealer has pulled the plug on Alfa, he's been with them for years but told me there just wasn't any point considering the lack of sales, so if i wanna buy a new Alfa i've got a long drive ahead of me! I reckon they'll give it a few years, but if the 159/Brera or Grande Punto fail to make any impact, they'll pull out.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

Just noticed that our local FIAT delership is no more. The garage now sells only second hand vehicles. It's a pity. They've been here for over 50 years. Nearest one is now Carlisle and that's a combo Alfa /Fiat job.

It's difficult seeing FIAT compete with it's peers now. The Asian/Japanaese brands have the bulk of the market with high quality keenly priced offerings and the French pretty much have what's left. If FIAT don't get they're act together and make something of their premium brand badges they'll sink into obscurity in the UK. Luckily for them the European and home market picture is a lot healthier but even there the Far East invasion is making steady progress into FIAT's traditional customer base.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

I went for the 'other' option I think they will cling on long enough to see out 159 and Brera, but if they aren't succesfull then someone will pull the plug. I say someone because by then it might not be Fiat.
I'm not sure it's the dealers that are the problem, they are only the front end of a bad supply chain, it's ARUK which must shoulder the bulk of the blame, but the Factory parts procurement and shipment is also to blame, they bought the damn knicker elastic Cambelts and pasta Bushes in the first place

They need to rethink the 159 price structure though, they are too expensive

Hope they do stay though, I would hate to see them go, I feel very much like 20V, Alfa (and AO as well) are directly responsible for changing me from someone with a passive but long interest in motoring, to a true Petrol head...... not sure that's a good thing though

Good luck tomorrow by the way....... GTV or Barch, haven't you decided yet????
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

Alfa will continue to sell into the UK (as will Fiat) they are also looking to re-launch the Lancia brand.

"The third-generation Delta will be the first Lancia in over a decade to be offered with right-hand drive. This is in preparation for a relaunch of the brand into right-hook markets such as the UK, Japan and Oceania."

But with the promises made by the Karl-Heinz Kalbfel to improve the dealer network now looking very doubtful (with him going to Maserati), I suspect not much will change. I guess motivating existing dealers or bringing new dealers onboard with the falling sales of the past couple of years coupled with Fiat/Alfa-UK's poor support as an importer just isn't happening. We will get another sales blip with the new cars but improved customer satisfaction is needed to gain any ground against other manufacturers. So more of the same I think better cars but poor customer service.

'A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.' - Henry Ford.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

I like to think Alfa will last but, with so many GM ingredients on the new 159 and Brera, I am worried many traditional enthusiasts will be dissapointed. Also Fiat are in trouble on a global scale, since the Coupe and Barchetta in my opinion they havent designed a desirable car. Ok they may make good bread and butter cars but there is nothing exceptional about them to tempt people from other Marques. The Panda is a slow box on wheels, the Stylo is too ordinary, and the Grand punto is nice enough but a bit bland.
Having said that I love the styling of the 159 and Brera, although they have not got the classic lines of the GTV or 156 IMO.

Don't get me wrong on this I love Fiats and especially Alfa's, but I am not sure what direction they think they are going.

Last edited by symon; 10-02-06 at 09:14.
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Re: How much longer can Fiat / Alfa last in the UK?

They'll get trendy again.

I think the Germans are on the wain, VW seem ressurgent but Audi, BMW and even Merc' seem to be becoming jaded brands.

The Japs are bland and Ford is struggling with a stale product.

So, Italian cars will become trendy again, helped by the fact that there are plenty of new and well-styled models on the way over the next 3 years.

Looking forward to the next 147...

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