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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

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Giulia's (tech) features are 5 years behind the competition, not enough advertising and wrong advertising, dealer network isn't great, brand image isn't great, saloon segment is in decline, models like Giulia (and Stelvio) are therefore still pretty unknown to general buyers in premium segment.

Audi just intruduced face-lift of their A4 model (after a small face-lift last year), which was brought to the market around the same time as Giulia (2016/17), and even back then it had much more technologically advanced features. And even if face-lift looks crap and like they just stuck a Hyundai face to the Audi body, it shows how hard working the German brands are. BMW just launched the new 3 series, so Mercedes, aware of that, prepared a C-class face-lift last year, and Audi made a face-lift right after, just to slow down sales decline. Even Jag made a face-lift when BMW made new 3 series.
It seems everyone is working hard and doing their job.
Alfa will introduce MY2020 Giulia with some updates in Q3 this year, but it seems it will still stay noticably behind its rivals on everything else but driving dynamcs and styling. Sad sory indeed. In the end sales slide is not really that surprising, it is their own fault for being lazy the last 3 years, and introducing only various trim/colour versions.
 

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No update after the early adopters are ready to renew their lease or PCP and there’s less reason to consider another and less coverage in the magazines and online. The used ones look like the new ones but cost half the price. Not good.
Even the Stelvio ,which isn’t in a dying sector of the market and is a year younger , is only holding its sales figures year on year.
 

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IMHO they missed a trick with the Stelvio Nero by not making a metallic one have a list price under 40k. Why there pitched it just over is beyond me especially when they sell them for a lot less anyway.
 

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Giulia sales figures in both continents have literally halved in the period up to March last year...!

What is it that makes such struggle to sell such beautiful work of art? Dealers network, alfisisti being endangered species or Alfa Romeo historical shambolic customer service?

Sales data in the US:

Alfa Romeo Giulia US car sales figures

Sales Data in Europe:

Alfa Romeo Giulia European sales figures
Alfisti being a dying breed is not the issue. Relying on alfisti only to create the necessary sales would have been the problem. It seems that many of the true alfisti on this site are simply circling awaiting the used price of Giulias to reach a level where they can change out of their much loved 159/Brera/whatever.

Alfa needed conquest sales. They made some headway, but the points Lizard made are spot on. Competition is tough and Alfa can't afford to give consumers any excuse not to buy their cars - whether is it lack of dealers, poor quality of dealers, old generation infotainment tech or lack of facelift.

It is such a shame as the Giulia and I guess the Stelvio are truly class leading in respect of driving dynamics.
 

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Hamfisti nails it. Alfisti will overlook the outdated tech, occasional bit of hard plastic and tolerate the often woeful after care. Conquest sale customers from Audi, BMW, Mercedes and JLR simply won’t. They’ll walk into the showroom, be faced with a bunch of heavily discounted 500s and Renegades, wonder why there are so few Alfas, be annoyed they can’t test drive the model they’re interested in, be shocked at the high monthly payments and simply go back to their usual brand.

The product is brilliant so, this time, Alfa have absolutely no excuses. They could have taken on the world and reestablished their place in the premium market and they have completely f**ked it up. If this was their last chance then I’m afraid to say it’s probably game over.

What went wrong? Too few of the original 8 models made it to the market on time, or at all. Stelvio was too late. Giulia should have launched with a Sportwagon and coupe, not waited to see. The 124 should have stayed an Alfa and resembled, as close as possible, the gorgeous Pininfarina concept. 4C should have been a much better car at launch. How can Jamie Porter sort a flawed car so easily that had an entire team of engineers develop it? Giulietta should have been replaced by now. That’s such a no brainier. But few in Alfa seem to have one. And the final part, and the biggest, they should have invested in the dealer network. We’ve watched so many good dealers close because they’ve been starved of product and investment from Alfa. All that’s left are the big pile-em-high-sell-em-cheap-screw-the-customer mega franchises and they are completely the wrong image for this segment.
 

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The dealer network for me is one half of the issue. The good news? It is being dealt with; however this means that we've seen many close that don't want to abide by Alfa's new, more stringent rules. So whilst it seems that there's very few left, at least those left are committing time and cash to the Alfa brand by redeveloping their dealerships and standards.
The second half is advertising. I've worked in marketing for many years, and I find it utterly incomprehensible that no money was put behind (real money) the wave of incredible PR that both models had at launch. Just incredible that a few £ms weren't spent which could have catapulted Alfa into a larger player.

The only wonder I have on this is whether they decided not to do B because A was a work in progress??
 

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It’s not just advertising. It’s bekow-the-line PR and having an owners magazine etc which come with having enough sales. Alfa lost their magazine and finished with the Cloverleaf Club years back. With new models comes coverage from spy scoops to road tests and vloggers.
Having the two models and genuine halo models of each has helped but there is nothing to report on compared to the competitors and their constant feed of new cars.
 

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I agree with alot of the above but i would also like to add that Alfas timing in the markets has been abysmal, most of their own doing but some things beyond their control. At the height of sales and a huge uptake in PCP contracts (prob around 2010-12 I would say) Alfa discontinued the 159 with no replacement or no other car to upgrade too (still waiting for a 166 replacement) only thing available was new guiliieta and Mito, alot of people moved on. They missed out on the huge SUV upturn in sales/phenomenon by deciding not to go ahead with the Kamal SUV concept shown first in 2003 so missed out here as qashqai/x3/A5 took off. Now with the Stelvio they are too late to the party with stiff competition. Further to this now that Guilias and stelvios are finally here the markets have stalled with diesel and petrol seem to be no longer the choice for consumers with hybrid and electric and people are holding out for this and also Brexit to be resolved.

All in all one big mess to try and negotiate out of, meanwhile they still try and sell the Guilietta and Mito
 

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People will ask why buy a new Giulietta for £20k when there are used ones around for less than my bicycle costs and they look unchanged?
(I think they still look great but aren’t available with the best engines)
 

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Even in Italy sales are slow which is unbelievable as when anybody sees mine they are all surprised that more Italian,s are not tempted away from the German boring stuff.
Mind you mine is a great advert as its always perfectly clean and waxed right up, even though i say so myself!
Still, they are not common and that,s good for us.
 

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Have to agree with all points made. I've had my Giulia 2 years now and it's good but there's been no updates from Alfa when the Germans have all made minor updates. It's simply not good enough in todays market. Add to that the woeful dealers and Alfa are stuck with themselves to blame.
The car has been good (not great) but it will be my first and last Alfa then back to the Germans.
 

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By the time three years are up you want to see they’ve listened and there’s a new version in the owners magazine reflecting this. Even a new model, such as the Tonale which may coincide with my three years with the Stelvio.
 

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The car has been good (not great) but it will be my first and last Alfa then back to the Germans.
Scary. Maybe FCA bit off more than they can chew with this segment.

Will the Giulia be the last 'from the ground up' designed and built Alfa?

If the value is in the brand then maybe doing what Toyota has done with the Supra will be next.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if in 5 years time Alfa will release a statement saying that Giorgio platform is to expensive to produce with sales they are having, and they will return to more mainstream platforms. Instead of being much more proactive in updating current cars and making new.

When you look at German brands - when they aren't launching face-lifts, they are launching new models, and when they aren't launching new models they are releasing new versions, so there is always something gioing on with them giving them publicity, reviews, youtube vlogs, resons to advertise, etc...

And then there is yet another (already mentioned) fact - they are not really working hard to constantly make new models. By now we should have estate Giulia, new Giulietta, Giulietta SUV, and in devepoment should be some decent coupe and E-segment SUV. But from that list they are making only "Fiat 500X ancient platform-based front wheel drive" SUV. Good job Alfa! People pulling strings at the company are a joke to themselves.


Recently I read that after 2021 (or was it 2022?) Ferrari will no longer supply and build engines for Maserati, because Maserati did not extend their contract (like there is any other manufacturer that could supply Maseati with decent V6 and V8 engines). Go figure... What are they planning for the Maserati brand I probably don't even want to now, because it will most likely be utterly pointless and most of all unsuccessful.
 

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They said the Giorgio platform would be used on the US cars to update their dinosaur muscle cars. That’s give them economies of scale, but then the boss of that division suddenly retired last week.
 

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So at the risk of a torching, would Alfa be better off in the ownership of VW? Other than some dodgy looking VW switchgear, it doesn't seem to have harmed Bentley, Bugatti or Lambo.
 

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Even if it did reunite Luca de Meo with a better brand than Seat they’ve got too many brands to monitor. That’s what Alfa would become; a brand.
 
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