Giulia & Stelvio sales: the results of the absence of a brand

Alfa 1Alfa Romeo is perhaps FCA’s biggest challenge. When the brand was relaunched two years ago, the management decided to put all of its efforts on giving it back the prestigious position it used to have. Italians could not stay behind in the booming premium car market, and the heritage, name and design of Alfa Romeo could be a powerful tool to appeal many consumers around the world. To do so, the brand needed a strong product plan which included not only the usual sedan and sporty cars but also SUVs.

Alfa 4

The Giulia and Stelvio are part of the new Alfa Romeo and are set to expand the brand’s global presence. Their impact so far has been relatively good, depending on how the numbers are analyzed. As usual, the management had big volumes in mind when both cars were revealed, but as usual, the reality is different from the optimistic forecasts made by the product planners. Is it good or bad?

Alfa 2

When looking at the sales numbers for the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, it is important to set aside the initial forecasts. The Giulia has been available since April 2016, and based on the monthly results in Europe, USA and China until September 2017, it is clear that is not a super-seller. It reached a sales peak in May this year with more than 5.200 units, but volume continously fell between June and August. The monthly average volume for the Giulia this year is something around 3.500 units. That’s not only below the target, but very far from its German rivals.

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In the case of the Stelvio it is still early to make conclusions as it hit the dealers in February this year. Nevertheless, the monthly results confirm what we’ve seen with the Giulia: premium car market is very tough. This is even more evident for those brands arriving late to the party. Premium SUVs became popular with the arrival of the first generation Mercedes ML in 1997. It took Alfa Romeo 20 years to join the booming segment, and this of course has consequences when trying to gain market share.

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The problem now is to adapt the reality to FCA’s plans. It means to reduce the production levels of both models, and delay future launches. It is not that the sales results are bad or good. What we’ve seen so far is just the response from the market that saw an absent brand for years with quality problems and lack of strategy. In fact, the results are very good considering also that its rivals have a dominant position everywhere. You can not change this from one day to the next. Fortunately, the brand is back with all of its best attributes, but it will take time, “blood” and money to see a positive outcome.

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5 responses to “Giulia & Stelvio sales: the results of the absence of a brand

  1. Hi Felipe,

    Can you tell me if Fiat/Abarth are going to produce a Abarth 500X ? Auto Express amongst others have been publishing a late Nov. 2017 date for some time, but there seems very little info. from the m/f ?

    Regs.

    Philip.

    ________________________________

    • I think the Abarth 500X is one of the alternatives considered by EMEA management to revive the 500X sales. I know Abarth is working on something, and is likely to be this SUV.

  2. Great analyse. I love the brand. I have my first new Alfa since 1998 (Alfa 156). I have a Petrol Rosso Alfa Giulia in Veloce pack. Alfa is back. In the Netherlands it is the no. 4 in sales (high-end D segment). Why is the Giulia and Stelvio in Italy not the no. 1?

  3. Good job Felipe!

    For better results ,Alfa must produce new Gulietta no later than 2018(hach and sedan).Each year of delay will mean a worse result and a smaller base of old customers. Unfortunately for Alfa Romeo this is the last priority! The same mistake as the cancellation of Giulia wagon (Europe 2017. 30000 pcs with a small investment). Giulia is no.1 in Italy but A4 is counted together with wagon version.
    Giulia and Stelvio stealing every customer from other brands. It’s a very difficult task. Only new generations of these models can achieve a better result. The new generation must be ready on time. If necessary, Audi will make a new model every year ( A4 – 2002, 2005, 2008). Alfa 159 was a great car, but round headlights had to lose the battle in 2008 after new A4 (refresh headlights like 156 or a new model but not in 2016).
    Another mistake from the past is the Mito with only 3 doors version?! The next mistacke in the announcement is Giulia cupe( maby 15 % of wagon volume).Grand cupe is ok.
    Alfa need next volume models for success :Giulia(sedan,wagon,Grand cupe),
    Giulietta (5 door hach, sedan, SUV), Stelvio (maby cupe), 166 (sedan, wagon, SUV), luxsurius – not spartan 4C- like F tayp or TT.
    If FCA waits profit from Giulia and Stelvio for new models, the whole idea has failed.
    There is a space on the market due to boring competition, but without money is impossible to compete with X1,X2,X3,X4,X5,X6. BMW has 6 models in Giulia segment (sedan,wagon, GT, cupe,grand cupe and convertible).

    Regards,
    Boba

    • Because as you can imagine when the 159 was not replaced quickly a lots of old Alfa disappointed Alfa customers moved to Bmw, Audi and Mercedes and now you have to wait their next car where they may be back

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