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The 159 did get a mild refresh, in 2008. As you say though sales certainly didn’t warrant a full overhaul (or even a replacement for that matter), and besides by messing with it they only would have made it look worse. And that certainly wouldn’t have helped things seeing as looks were it’s main selling point to begin with!


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Article about PSA future for Alfa.
Yep, I've seen this. Its a good article. I think it is right Tavares sounds like he has the right skill set to set Alfa fully on its way.
 

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Yep, I've seen this. Its a good article. I think it is right Tavares sounds like he has the right skill set to set Alfa fully on its way.
It IS a though nut to crack. The brand has an aura and history that puts it not even with BMW or Audi or Mercedes, it's actually up there with Ferrari and Porsche (and theoretically Lancia, but let's not open another gigantic can of worms). For those of you who know him, Davide Cironi perfectly put it a while ago: There is no such thing as "-isti" for brands other than Ferrari, Porsche and Alfa Romeo. You have "Ferraristi", "Porscheisti" and "Alfisti", but you never hear of "Audisti" or "BMWisti". Sure, these brands have their massive following - especially BMW, with a lot of us Alfisti (myself included) harbouring at least some respect for the Bavarians, but nowhere near the cult these three inspire.

So on one hand, you can't lower Alfa to the level of a common Peugeot or Fiat or Renault or Toyota; More is expected out of an Alfa Romeo. On the other hand, you have a general public that while still have reverence for the brand (even in a super-conservative market like Ireland, my 13-years-old 159 still gets plenty of glances and comments on the "I'd really like one but..." side) doesn't have time for it as it's not considered a "I've made it" status symbol; Your neighbour will see your BMW or Audi or Mercedes and think "wow, he/she got money!" while seeing an Alfa, they'll make jokes about garages and bus passes.

I'll be curious to see what Tavares can come up with.
 

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It IS a though nut to crack. The brand has an aura and history that puts it not even with BMW or Audi or Mercedes, it's actually up there with Ferrari and Porsche (and theoretically Lancia, but let's not open another gigantic can of worms). For those of you who know him, Davide Cironi perfectly put it a while ago: There is no such thing as "-isti" for brands other than Ferrari, Porsche and Alfa Romeo. You have "Ferraristi", "Porscheisti" and "Alfisti", but you never hear of "Audisti" or "BMWisti". Sure, these brands have their massive following - especially BMW, with a lot of us Alfisti (myself included) harbouring at least some respect for the Bavarians, but nowhere near the cult these three inspire.

So on one hand, you can't lower Alfa to the level of a common Peugeot or Fiat or Renault or Toyota; More is expected out of an Alfa Romeo. On the other hand, you have a general public that while still have reverence for the brand (even in a super-conservative market like Ireland, my 13-years-old 159 still gets plenty of glances and comments on the "I'd really like one but..." side) doesn't have time for it as it's not considered a "I've made it" status symbol; Your neighbour will see your BMW or Audi or Mercedes and think "wow, he/she got money!" while seeing an Alfa, they'll make jokes about garages and bus passes.

I'll be curious to see what Tavares can come up with.

I would not alter another persons post, but can I suggest one of you last lines be changed to:

Your neighbour will see your BMW or Audi or Mercedes and think "wow, he/she got a good PCP deal!"
 

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I’ve said for some time that Alfa isn’t a ‘brand’ like Audi, BMW and Mercedes etc.

It’s much more than that. It’s an automotive icon. Let’s hope it thrives under this new set up.
 

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It IS a though nut to crack. The brand has an aura and history that puts it not even with BMW or Audi or Mercedes, it's actually up there with Ferrari and Porsche (and theoretically Lancia, but let's not open another gigantic can of worms). For those of you who know him, Davide Cironi perfectly put it a while ago: There is no such thing as "-isti" for brands other than Ferrari, Porsche and Alfa Romeo. You have "Ferraristi", "Porscheisti" and "Alfisti", but you never hear of "Audisti" or "BMWisti". Sure, these brands have their massive following - especially BMW, with a lot of us Alfisti (myself included) harbouring at least some respect for the Bavarians, but nowhere near the cult these three inspire.

So on one hand, you can't lower Alfa to the level of a common Peugeot or Fiat or Renault or Toyota; More is expected out of an Alfa Romeo. On the other hand, you have a general public that while still have reverence for the brand (even in a super-conservative market like Ireland, my 13-years-old 159 still gets plenty of glances and comments on the "I'd really like one but..." side) doesn't have time for it as it's not considered a "I've made it" status symbol; Your neighbour will see your BMW or Audi or Mercedes and think "wow, he/she got money!" while seeing an Alfa, they'll make jokes about garages and bus passes.

I'll be curious to see what Tavares can come up with.
You hit it right on the head! But how to change that?
 

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I wonder if FCA lost a big opportunity with the Mazda MX5 tie-up. If they could have produced a car for a similar price to the Mazda, with the 1.4MA engine, styled as a front-engined 4C, perhaps there'd be enough "wow-factor" Alfas on the road to encourage enthusiasm for the Giulietta, Giulia and Stelvio by association.
 

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I keep saying this, Alfa Romeo is not a volume car manufacture, it never has been. Back in the 70/80's BMW sold 1,364,038 of the E21 3 series, it was expensive and if you got it wrong when at its limit, it could bite back. Compared to the BMW, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta was considerably cheaper, drove better but only sold 255,762. OK we know the 156 sold in numbers, 680.000 but that was against BMW who sold twice as many E30 3 series.

Alfa Romeo has always needed a sugar daddy to keep the brand going, we can only hope that the involvement of PSA will breath new life into the brand. PSA have enough show rooms around the country, every country in Europe, lets see that resource used to help provide after sales support for the brand. And if we were to finish up with entry level Alfa Romeos on a PSA platform, getting people into Alfa Romeos, would that really be a bad thing?
 

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I keep saying this, Alfa Romeo is not a volume car manufacture, it never has been. Back in the 70/80's BMW sold 1,364,038 of the E21 3 series, it was expensive and if you got it wrong when at its limit, it could bite back. Compared to the BMW, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta was considerably cheaper, drove better but only sold 255,762. OK we know the 156 sold in numbers, 680.000 but that was against BMW who sold twice as many E30 3 series.

Alfa Romeo has always needed a sugar daddy to keep the brand going, we can only hope that the involvement of PSA will breath new life into the brand. PSA have enough show rooms around the country, every country in Europe, lets see that resource used to help provide after sales support for the brand. And if we were to finish up with entry level Alfa Romeos on a PSA platform, getting people into Alfa Romeos, would that really be a bad thing?
Yes. Because they would not be getting into Alfas. They would be getting into Peugeots with Alfa styling.
 

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How else does Alfa expect to continue as a premium brand?
A requirement of premium is innovation and constant development.
At least when a car is a version of another , there’s an attempt to be distinct from the base car; a Dedra was a lot better than a Tipo and perhaps better than it would’ve been if developed alone.
 

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As OK as that concept looks, it just doesn't look like an Alfa. It looks like some car with an Alfa grill. Alfas can't be slit eyed. Alfas should not squint. Leave that to Audis and the other run of the mill cars. This is my biggest problem with the Giulia and Stelvio. The front. But at least they are not squinting that hard.
Not sure I agree. Perhaps it our definitions of squint eyes on a car. Is the 159 not a determined browed looking front?
 

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Not sure I agree. Perhaps it our definitions of squint eyes on a car. Is the 159 not a determined browed looking front?
But it is not squinting. The 159 and Brera front are also very distinct. Very Alfa like. That concept's front looks like any other car out there.

I still love the front of the Giulietta and also the 8C for example. That's Alfa. When Alfa tries to be Audi or BMW they are no longer Alfa.
 

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That concept Spider is absolutely to die for. Build it on the MX5/Fiat chassis and I'd buy it. When Fiat restyled the MX5 from a dog's dinner (and I'm a massive Mk1 MX5 fan) into the beautiful retro Spider I thought that Alfa would snap at the chance to do the same. But sadly they didn't. Why? It would have been so easy to make a retro-modern styled like an old Duetto and it'd sell like hot cakes if priced right. If they can't get that right.. then god knows. Giulia is a bit clumsy imho and the Stelvio is plain wrong. And no 2 door sports coupe or convertible..?
 

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However a roadster is priced there is still a limit to sales volumes? I nearly bought a 124 but it was luck I didn’t as it’d be useless to me now!
 

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Tell that to Mazda. There's always a market for sports cars, especially if 'affordable', good looking and good dynamics. Heck, I'd even buy a Fiat and rebadge it myself into what it should have been.
 

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Yes 14,000 cars a year in Europe! The Mito did triple that before they forgot to update it. More of a hobby really if you haven’t got yourself established up in the US. The US sales of the Miata were a massive 9000 last year. Pretty good compared to 500 examples of the Z4 in the US last year.
 
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