The future of Alfa Romeo should come along with Maserati’s. That’s my conclusion, and it is based on recent facts and other examples in the industry. Maserati has proven to do the right things in its goal of selling 50.000 units by 2015. The good mix of state-of-the-art cars with a terrific marketing campaign had allowed the brand to position as a real threat to German premiums even if it is a niche-product brand. The increasing awareness has been possible to exclusive and original off and online campaigns showing the new Ghibli and Quattroporte, and focusing on the values of the brand. Maserati had fantastic presentations in all of the recent auto shows while it has coherent with its product plan. With the arrival of the Levante, next year, the brand from Modena will continue attracting more fans and clients worldwide and will easily meet its target. All of this should be the best example for the other premium-want-to-be brand of the group: Alfa Romeo.
Yes, the biscione brand needs products. The 4C is an awesome car, much better than D-Sport Germans, but Alfa needs more. While they arrive, they should get close to Maserati and start working together. There is a lot to do in everything related to the approach a premium brand should have regarding marketing and contact with clients. If Alfa Romeo wants to become a real premium choice things should change in the dealers, in the after sales service and the way it is promoted. It isn’t just a matter of product. The 4C is an excellent car that proves how far Alfa Romeo can go. A Cayman or a TT are quite behind in terms of technologic features and engine efficiency. The way Alfa has promoted it is another good example of how they should do for the next models. But I’m afraid that things would be much easier for the brand if all these efforts of becoming a premium brand, would be part of a common plan with Maserati.
And how to do it? first of all, future Alfas should be sold in common dealers with Maserati, and not beside Fiat or Lancia cars. The positioning of these brands is really different, because they are mainstream makers. For example, in USA the 4C will be sold in Maserati’s dealers and not in Fiat or Chrysler ones. The same should be done with future models in Europe. If there is a right positioning and high quality cars, then it wouldn’t be a problem for Maserati’s image, and it would earn from a higher volume of visitors in their dealers. Alfa Romeo must make use of the strong and increasing awareness of Maserati. They should share more components, technology and know-how. A marriage between them would certainly be a real threat to the 3 Germans, and would mean the real come back of Fiat into the premium segments.