If there is one single model that played a key role saving a mythical brand, it is without any doubt the Giulietta. If it wasn’t because of its sales registrations, Alfa Romeo would be already dead. It doesn’t mean that it is super seller but is one of the few big cars of Fiat Group to succeed in Europe. However its results must be closely analyzed. Last year Alfa Romeo sold more than 67.000 Giuliettas worldwide, counting for 67% of the brand’s total sales. It was its third year on the market, which means the year of growth/maturity, but it seems to be the decline period when looking at the life cycle curve. This nice Alfa Romeo reached its top in 2011, its first full year in the market, but then European/Italian car industry crisis hit its records severely. Still, it is the best-selling compact car of Fiat Group in Europe and last year it had an important role in the Italian market.
Of course, Europe counts for most of its sales, with 91% share, followed by Asia-Pacific region which counts for almost 7%. Actually, Japan is Giulietta’s 5th largest market ahead of so many European countries. The success there is explained by the good image of the brand among Japanese (there are a lot of fan associations), even if its sales are marginal compared to total market. Despite its low sales figures, the Giulietta could be considered another important product for the group, even if it is not available in USA and Canada. My analysis includes 46 countries from all continents for a total of 67.180 units. Italy counts for 44,5% of total, followed by France (9,3%), Germany (7,7%) and the UK (6,3%). Important missing markets: USA, Canada, China, Russia, India and Brazil. Unfortunately, because of its strong dependence on European market, its sales are down in most of the markets where it is available. From 23 countries evaluated year-on-year, only 5 had positive growth. In total, Giulietta’s total registrations are down 13% (e) compared to 2011 figures. It is not bad considering European crisis, but is really bad taken into account that it is a young product.
This car is available everywhere in Europe. The analysis includes 31 countries, from which 2 saw positive results for this Alfa Romeo: Poland and Hungary. Total registrations were severely affected by France, the UK and the Netherlands, as Italian ones didn’t fall that much. As Italy counts for 49% of total, then everything that happened outside Italy had a big impact on its final result. In terms of share in C-Segment, the Giulietta shines in Italy (some units behind the Golf), and Greece (almost 5% share!). It had an interesting result in Austria and France but still, generally speaking, it doesn’t occupy an important position within its segment. Germany is the best example of the low penetration of this nice car: 0,72% of the largest segment in that country. Too bad for Northern Europe where the Alfa is not popular at all.
The Giulietta is particularly popular among imported cars in Japan, which counts for 75% (e) of total sales in APAC region. It was introduced in January 2012. However, its eternal rival, VW Golf, rules as the best-selling imported car in that country. Australia is far behind, but with good results year-on-year.
Is present in Mexico, some countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Brazil doesn’t make part of the offer but not for to long as Alfa is expected to arrive soon. The results in Latin America are very bad, and is a consequence of what I personally think is a bad strategy. Latin America is another important market where the brand could become strong only with the right approach. I don’t think is OK to introduce the brand when it has only 2 models to offer and prices are extremely high. German premium brands can do it because they’ve been there for years, so people know them and buy their expensive cars. But Alfa Romeo is trying to impress the public with expensive but few models. The result is that the brand has a good start but soon its sales fall as people don’t see anything new. This is bad because the image of the brand is being exposed and new products won’t arrive till 2015.
For 2013 it is expected less sales for this Alfa Romeo as European market will continue to fall, and overseas markets won’t contribute with high numbers. Besides, the expected facelift won’t arrive this year but next, so it will have to keep fighting without the help of a restyling. However, for 2014 it is expected the arrival of a deep update that will allow it to enter the US market. Besides, a SW version should also make its debut focused on European market. For now, it is being very useful for the development of other cars of the group such as the Dart/Viaggio and the latest Cherokee.