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I think that the Alfa Romeo brand we all love that recently flowered in the Giulia QV and Stelvio QV died with the passing of Sergio Marchionne. Engineers out, beancounters in. No longer a leader but a follower.
The high water mark has passed and it's down hill all the way.
Discuss.
Alan
 

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There is a risk, but......

Alfa has shown what they can achieve when given enough time and resources.

Unfortunately dealers - I belive - are not up to the task, of giving BMW - type of demanding customers, the right service in the right surroundings.

Also - although it is a major feature - installing a Ferrari engine IS a bit over the top. Next engine - I-6 with E-turbo and 500+ bhp is more economical. Especially since it will be shared with Chrysler MEGA-trucks.

Another potential problem: Alfa is last in "electrification" and is going - for good or worse - it`s own path.

He who lives, will see.
 

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If Marchionne had let Alfa go ahead with a fwd replacement for the 159 ,instead of a rapidly developed RWD car as they did, but supported it better, would the sales be better by now? I’m not sure. His insistence that the Giulia should avoid references to the Giugiaro design ,and starting later , removed any momentum and showings of confidence in the past. The great chassis is less tangible than a good deal and evolution of Design which underpins BMWs success of getting customers and keeping them. On a line from “ courageous “ to “ know why you bought it” Alfa is at one end and BMW the other.
 

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Engineers out, beancounters in.
A big problem with engineers is that if they are not kept in check they will go off on esoteric flights of fancy & vanity projects, totally ignoring the basic fact of life that a company exists to make money & any activity indulged in should be directly or indirectly a means to that end. The bottom line is: it's the bottom line that counts!

Source? I am an engineer!
 

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Marchionne was not an engineer but had three university degrees, an MBA, professional qualifications as a lawyer and an accountant and was fluent in three languages.
His employer before Fiat was SGS in Brief where he was Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
 

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Marchionne, obviously, wanted to make a statement with Giulia/Stelvio - which he/they suceeded. Next step is to build on that and develop dealer network and go through with electrification - neither is an easy task.
 

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Marchionne was not an engineer but had three university degrees, an MBA, professional qualifications as a lawyer and an accountant and was fluent in three languages.
His employer before Fiat was SGS in Brief where he was Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
So what Cue2 is saying is that Marchionne was a truly brilliant highly intelligent individual who did not need a qualification in nurdling sprocket manufacturing to know when something was right or wrong or with the design of a car, which Giulia and Stelvio proves.
 

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I could not help but wander a bit....

Current King of the Hill is Tavares.

One of the first was - obviously - Henry Ford. Then we had Bob Lutz, Carlos Goshn and a few others, but King is - to my mind - Ferdinand Piech, who not only developed Audi to what it is today, but also incorporated e.g. Bugatti, Bentley and Ducati in the family.
 

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To think that Audi developed into what it has because Piech was not allowed to run Porsche as a family member.
The rumours are that Mr Manley of FCA could be lined up to take the recently vacated head role at JLR. More suitable perhaps as it’s in the U.K. and he was really a Jeep man.
 

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I think Alfa's high water mark was in the Mid to late 1990's. We had the 155, 156, 145, 146, GTV, Spider and the 166.

Since then it has been downhill with less and less models and longer production runs, as well as undesirable part sharing with GM.
 

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"Part sharing with GM?" GM bought into FIAT for a two year period - then sold out.

Alfa and SAAB did common development during that period - Opel was cut out :eek:).

Apart from some "great mutual ideas" - nothing come out of it.
 

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Nothing came out of it other than a poor replacement for the Busso and a seriously compromised 156 replacement, that included some weak gearboxes and rusty subframes among other things.
 

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I dont think GM interfered with "internal" day- to -day work - they wanted to make an impact with new models shared between Alfa and SAAB. GM recognised that sharing architectures with Opel was no good for SAAB. I recognise some of Giorgio in that cooperation.
 

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Very interesting.
We heard about the purchasing benefits - and we started a cooperation in the outskirts of Gothenburg - 50 engineers and stylists from each company, beginning with replacements for 164 and 9-5.
Cooperation worked fine - to be abruptly closed down after 2 years. Major architectural components - excluding engines - were to be shared.
 

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Marchionne, obviously, wanted to make a statement with Giulia/Stelvio - which he/they suceeded. Next step is to build on that and develop dealer network and go through with electrification - neither is an easy task.
I think Marchionne did some really good things in his time. I was very enthusiastic of his last strategy, but time and that wonderful thing called hindsight help you see things a little more clearly.

Did Alfa really need a 'super car'? Nice to have it but as someone else has commented its about making a profit ultimately - then you can afford to indulge.

Alfa has the history for a supercar to be accepted and respected, but it does it need that now or does it need more main stream models with the Alfa Romeo DNA? I suggest the latter. I have a Giulia and its a brilliant car, so I believe is the Stelvio, but you are not going to develop a brand with a two car (okay three perhaps with the quad) range. You don't have to compete fully with Mercedes, BMW or Audi overnight, but the Giulia and Stelvio can't do it alone. People buy cars, but they also want to feel they are buying into a brand - by that a complete brand (and that includes a successful brand). So while I would love to have seen a GTV and possibly a Spider, as a business Alfa first of all needs the Tonale (and for it to be a sales success), and the smaller CUV (soon). Then with a (successful) four model range you can in due course offer the GTV and Spider that we all want.

You simply cannot ignore the market place needs-anyway that's my opinion for what its worth;)

PS I still think a Giulia sportwagon would have been a good move - relatively cheap to develop and it would have broadened the range. I don't think it would have detrimentally affected Stelvio sales - look at what the competition offers. Again just my opinion guys
 

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Yes - I believe Alfa needed Giulia and Stelvio, to make a statement - but unfortunately that`s not enough. Alfa need to build on that and develop competitive vehicles with competitive prices - and competitive fuel consumption. Also electrification.

With the joint muscles of FCA/PSA that is possibel - but not easy. Short term the Family - for good and bad - will guard Alfa, but long term, it need to be integrated under Tavares
 

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The idea of repositioning Alfa higher in price than PSA brands can achieve was initially reached by the Giulia and the Stelvio but , as usual , the product has not been sufficiently refreshed to avoid increased price-competition. In this way they will not remain premium for long enough and the Tonale cannot command a higher price.
 

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Yes - I believe Alfa needed Giulia and Stelvio, to make a statement - but unfortunately that`s not enough. Alfa need to build on that and develop competitive vehicles with competitive prices - and competitive fuel consumption. Also electrification.

With the joint muscles of FCA/PSA that is possibel - but not easy. Short term the Family - for good and bad - will guard Alfa, but long term, it need to be integrated under Tavares
Yes I agree
The Giulia/Stelvio range is £30K plus to £70K plus. Alfa needed these two make a statement about what a brilliant car they could turn out- but to expect massive sales turnover from these two alone is quite frankly a little 'nuts'.
As you say Tajalle the follow up model's are needed to build the brand as the products lower down have been awfully slow in coming. They need to get the numbers and profitability up. The PSA tie up should speed things up.
The one real up market distinctive premier brand the combined group has is Alfa Romeo (forget the silly DS brand). There is Maserati of course which I hear is poised to introduce a range of new models. But it is positioned further up towards low end Porsche and some top end Mercedes and BMW models.
Alfa has shown what it can do with the Giulia and Stelvio, now that needs to be ramped up into a range of models the market wants- success here will bring the new GTV and Spider, but only after the 300/400K vehicle sales have been achieved with decent margin's ;)
 
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