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Discussion Starter #1
So LR have just announced that they've made the Freelander 1 an LR heritage vehicle.
Latest Landy Heritage 4x4: Best-selling Freelander 1 | Wheels24
What this basically means is they've committed to keep on supplying parts for these cars for the foreseeable future.

Why oh why can't AR do the same for the 916 etc. There's an enthusiastic following for the cars why not make some money off of it and benefit the owners and brand as a whole.
 

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The 916 is the wrong example. Even though it is a cult car, it was very expensive to manufacture and most of the body and interior parts were made by Pininfarina. In fact the Phase 3 cars were completely built by Pininfarina, none coming out of the Alfa factory. Virtual hand built production vehicles...
 

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I won't mind another 916 GTV.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ian I agree....but I also don't agree. You're 100% correct certain components of the 916 are specific to that model and would be very expensive/difficult to maintain a stock of (things like body panels, rear suspension, interior trim like seats and door cards) but alot is also common to older Alfa's for instance engines, gearboxes, front suspension and smaller interior components (164 door handles, 156 HVAC) so at least certain components could be committed to a heritage programme.
Another thing is that there's components manufacturers that are remanufacturing 916 bits (for example EB spares with the 916 coolant bottles and V6 intake pipes) so there is a market for this stuff PROVIDED it's reasonably priced.

The first Freelander was a terrible car even when it was new. It also used alot of old Rover bits that must've been very difficult to source once the Rover group went bust. One that comes to mind is the K-Series engine used in the 1.8l model. They've decided to support one of their worst models for the forseeable future. Alfa could at least commit to supporting one of it's best in some fashion.

A model like the 147 or 156 would probably be easier and more profitable to support simply because more where sold so why not include one of the models to make it more profitable.

Apparently Mercedes-Benz will provide parts for any model they've ever made as long as your prepared to pay the price they ask.
 

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so there is a market for this stuff PROVIDED it's reasonably priced.

Apparently Mercedes-Benz will provide parts for any model they've ever made as long as your prepared to pay the price they ask.
There is your answer.

Ask Pininfarina for one-off parts and you will not be impressed.

Getting back to more general things:
The Freelander 1 was a "worst of the bunch" model because people were trying to be too clever with the available technology of the time and they had horrible design assumptions, terrible engines in the K series (when they were cracking heads and overheating in everything they were fitted to, from Lotus cars to Land Rovers to MG's). The series 2 Freelander was VERY impressive even though it still suffered a little from the previous stigmas but the Freelander 3 was epic! About as capable as any Discovery (which says a lot) besides not having the self raising suspension for when beaching occurs, a much simpler electronic terrain control system and less power. It felt like a true Landy, not like a toughened up SUV like the previous versions did.

When you decide to support, the decision is based on:
1. Profit. Yes, that is their first consideration always, no matter what. Don't believe their "The customer comes first" rubbish. The customer's money comes first.
2. Remaining number of models. They have to consider this because this affects 1. Profit. The more models are still running, the higher potential to make money off it.
3. Potential to sell as much spares as possible. Yes. The Freelander 1 has MANY components that will need frequent replacing. Think about the front and rear diffs with different ratios. You will either lose front diff, or rear diff, or central fluid coupling on a regular basis. It just is so.
4. Availability of manufacturing jigs, skilled workforce (to make one-off or hand made parts), and space required to manufacture and carry these spares.

Alfa Romeo with it's relatively low volume sales cannot make economic sense of points 1; 2 or 3 unless it was a very successful model range like 116 or Alfasud or 156/147/GT. And then only certain parts. For example the 116/117 range along with 75; 90 and SZ/RZ used the same driveline components and those could be supported but you can expect to get a new bonnet for your 1987 Alfa 90 though.

This really is an interesting topic. Toyota followed similar principles with the Tazz (Unlike VW who were using the Citi concept to spin money with ever increasing models like Citi Sonic, Citi Deco, Citi CTI, Citi mk1, etc). They kept the car in production and didn't make a single cent profit on a single Tazz sold. Instead they made money through service costs, parts sales and support. In effect they were also ensuring that owners of the previous generation conquest still had support for the next 20 years. And in their case this was a great success. walking into a Toyota service department at the turn of the century would prove this. More than half of the cars in there would be Tazz's.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
100% agree on the profit and remaining models points. What does grate me a bit is that any spares one orders for a 916 left in the existing spares stock are crazy expensive. The way these companies price there parts is that the longer it's been on the shelf the more it costs to cover their cost of storing/stocking it for all those years.
I've recently bought a new fuse box cover for my 916 and the manufacturing date is late 2002. So it's been sitting for 14 years waiting for a buyer. Therefore AR will charge me for 14yrs worth of storage.

If these older parts were more realistically priced then they'd fly off the shelves. That being said, the faster moving spares are more reasonably priced (things like cambelts, wheel bearings etc) because they move faster.

The nice thing about the Citi is that there's places like Goldwagen that are doing tons of aftermarket spares for these cars. Getting spares for your Citi is cheap and easy even if you go outside the dealer network. I've wondered if it's the same for Fiat's and Alfa's in Italy.

If the 156 was made a heritage model then at least some interchangeable spares would be available for 916's. For instance alot of mechanical bits for a TS Spider could be had.

Next time I goto the UK I plan to take an Alfa day and visit somewhere like Cloverbreakers and see what sort of hard to get spares I can find. They seem to have a better pool of second hand spares for 916's in the UK than we do here. Especially for the rarer models like the 3litre Spider and 3,2 Phase 3's. I'm also waiting patiently for the EB spares repro coolant bottles to become available so I can order one and a new intake house at the same time.
 
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