Following with the 2017 global results by brand which have included Fiat, Jeep and Ram so far, it is time for Alfa Romeo. For the first time in 6 years, the brand global sales exceeded 100.000 units during what is considered its rinascimento year. With the arrival of the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, Alfa Romeo finally got the first boost it was waiting for.
Global sales at Alfa Romeo increased by a massive 60% to more than 115.000 units in 2017. It was the best result since 2011, when the Italian brand sold around 137.000 vehicles globally. The strong growth is certainly related to the latest launches and to the fact that Alfa has finally joined the booming SUV segment. As the Mito never worked, and the Giulietta hasn’t got any facelift since its introduction in 2010, the brand needed new products to avoid its disappereance.
The Giulia had its first full year in the market but its results didn’t meet the management targets. The beautiful sedan is far from being considered a success with modest results even in Italy where doesn’t lead the segment. A total of 41.000 Giulias were sold globally in 2017, with Italy counting for almost 24% of the total. US demand came next with 8.900 units. The Giulia was launched in China in the second semester and sold around 5.600 units. Its European results were negatively affected by the lack of the SW version.
Better situation for the Stelvio, which hit the markets in Q2 2017. Alfa Romeo sold 25.000 units of its first SUV, with Italy, China and USA as its biggest markets. In contrast to the Giulia, the Stelvio makes part of a hot-selling segment and therefore has a better sales growth potential. Nevertheless, its competitors are being renewed and grab important pieces of the segment. This year the Stelvio is expected to sell around 80.000 units.
Meanwhile the aged products of Alfa Romeo posted declines in 2017. Global sales for the Giulietta totaled 35.200 units, down by 23%; the Mito’s volume decreased by 12% to 12.500 units, the lowest result since its introduction in 2008. With no big changes expected to come in the coming months, sales for both models will continue to shrink. Italy counted for 59% of their total sales. It was worse for the 4C, whose sales dropped by 30% to only 1.500 units.
USA and China can be part of the solution, but the brand needs more than two products. Results for the first year indicate that there is room for Alfa Romeo, at least in the premium segment. Despite the strong position of the German brands in China, and the lack of interest of American for anything that is not a SUV, the Italian car maker has a potential there. However, the Stelvio won’t be able to do it by its own, and soon Alfa will need more SUVs.
The new arrivals certainly helped Alfa to increase its global sales. The Giulia and Stelvio are great cars that demonstrate that FCA can make competitive premium cars. But they probably arrived too late and the fight is going to be tough. The Giulia is already showing signs of decline, and the Stelvio is taking longer to take off. The Mito is now 10 years old with no successor in the pipeline. If the brand wants to keep the sales growth pace it needs more products, a compact and a large SUV. China should be the priority once the new models arrive.
Source: FGW database, Automotive News Europe, Bestsellingcarsblog.com, Carsitaly.net, KBA, SMMT, UNRAE, ANIACAM, CCFA, FENABRAVE, Autoblog Argentina, JATO Dynamics, Autoblog Uruguay, Motor.com.co, Goodcarbadcar.net
Obviously the brand cannot compete with just two models and it is is my belief that FCA management gave another shoot in the foot with the Giulia.
The project is great, on pair with BMW, etc,… but the SW and Coupe versions should 1) exist and 2) be already on the market.
The SW alone would have (at least) doubled sales (more than 1000 a month in italy – USA numbers), and big sales numbers are a sign of trust to the market. The Giulia would no longer be considered a flop. How can it compete with A4, C class and S3 with just one version?
The more Alfa cars people see on the road the more cars people will want to buy. And it is also important to the sales network.
I know many marketing gurus do not agree with me. What about you Felipe?
First step model range Giulia sw, coupe, new Giulietta…for strong sales network.
Who will invest money to sell only 2 models.
New markets with 2 models 🙂
I can’t believe FCA is making the same mistake over and over. The Mi.To, Bravo, Giulietta, Delta and Croma all flopped because they were available only in 1 body tipe. The Fiat Tipo is successful because it’s offered as a hatchback, sedan and SW, same case of the Palio and even the 500 with it’s full range family. Right now Alfa can’t compete with Audi, BMW or Mercedes, just like Maserati can’t keep up with Porsche. But what if Alfa targets Porsche, Maserati targets Bentley and they give Chrysler/Lancia a fresh start to fight with Audi? That way the next Giulia and Stelvio can fight Panamera and Cayenne, the next 4C can compete with the Boxster/Cayman and it would need just a smaller crossover a la Macan and a 911 fighter that can be the Maserati Alfieri prototype. Maserati needs to go higher with the next Quattroporte/Grand Turismo and Levante. The next Mi.To, Giulietta, Giulia and Ghibli should be Chrysler/Lancia along with rebadged Jeep crossovers to share paltforms and reduce costs, just like VW and GM does. Chrysler can be sold in North America and China and Lancia in South America/Europe where both brands are strong. Fiat should continue with the Panda/Mobi, Argo, Tipo and 500 family. FCA already has the platforms: Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Dodge can share RWD Giorgio and Fiat/Abarth, Lancia and Jeep can share FWD/AWD. Ram is big enough to have it’s own body on frame platform.
Felipe, wonderful post, very articulated and with a 360° degree view on Alfa. Graphic with sales divided per Area (APAC Emea etcc) is wonderful. First time I see it on Alfa. Let’s see if within the next years Alfa will succeed in decreasing hid dependancy on European market. Thanks again for the great work.
Thanks for your kind words Paolo, and thanks for following me.
small correction – the Giulietta has had facelifts in 2014 and 2016. Not very big ones though 🙂
Pingback: Alfa Romeo: is the rinascimento over? Global sales 2018 analysis | Fiat Group's World