Absurd: Lancia sells more cars than Alfa Romeo

This year Lancia is selling more cars than Alfa Romeo. As absurd as it sounds, the situation of the latter is extremely delicate considering the big investment for its recent relaunch. The market is weird, consumers are more weird and very few things can explain this horrible results for Alfa Romeo.

Lancia Alfa Romeo sales

The latest registrations data in Europe show the advantage of Lancia. During the first half of this year Lancia has registered 34,700 units, coming from only one model, the Ypsilon and only one market, Italy. On the other hand, the volume of its sister brand Alfa Romeo totaled 29,200 units. The gap between them is even more absurd when looking at their product lineups: one Lancia vs five Alfa Romeo.

It is not only the self-registrations

Part of the big drop posted by Alfa Romeo this year is explained by lower business registrations. The trend started by the end of last year and it has not stopped. Its business registrations have shrunk through June decreasing from 33,400 units in 2018 to only 19,200 vehicles in 2019. This kind of sales is usually boosted by the self-registrations, which are usually toxic and distort the market.

However, the fewer self-registrations (as part of FCA’s latest policy) does not explain all. Alfa Romeo is also having very negative results in the private market, which is quite worrying. The data indicates that these registrations fell by 40% during the first six months of this year, counting for one in three of the cars sold. The private registrations are the best way to know the real situation of the market.

Spain is now Alfa’s second market in Europe

The demand is falling so fast that the ranking by countries is totally mess up. Italy’s registrations now don’t count for more than half, and thanks to an exceptional increase, Spain became the second largest market for Alfa Romeo in Europe. If the rest of the world is included, Spain was the fourth largest market.

Alfa Romeo sales Europe

This change was due to the shrinking sales in France (-61%), Germany (-39%), and the UK (-27%). The worst came from Italy as total registrations fell by 47% to 14,500 units, composed by 9,500 business registrations (-52%) and 5,000 private registrations (-35%). In contrast, Lancia had 17% more business registrations and 40% more private registrations.


Lancia is boosting its sales through strong rebates. The Ypsilon is already 8 years old and the best way to grow is by offering good deals. Besides, the price positioning of the Ypsilon puts it somewhere between the city-cars and most of the mainstream subcompacts. It means that this Lancia doesn’t have direct competitors at home.

Lancia sales

Another reason for the good results of the Ypsilon is that Italy continues to be a stronghold for small vehicles. It is Europe’s biggest city-car and B-SUV market and the one with the second highest subcompact penetration among the top 5 markets. Italians adore small cars, and the Ypsilon is the only alternative they can buy from FCA.

Premium sedan sales Europe

On the other hand, Alfa Romeo’s decline is explained by three main reasons. First, the Giulietta is 9 years old and it can barely attract new customers. Second, the brand stopped introducing new models so it has very few things to tell to the public. And third, the most serious one, the latest products to hit the market stopped grabbing the attention.

D-SUV premium sales Europe

The Giulia faces a dramatic situation. Its registrations fell by 44% to only 5,758 units through June. The result is nothing compared to volume registered by the German sedans. With only three years in the market, the Giulia is already performing like if it was an older model. Its main problem is that some of its rivals are now more appealing, and many consumers in Europe don’t want these sedans anymore.

The case of the Stelvio is a bit frustrating. This SUV was introduced in 2017 and soon became a new referent due to its look and engines. Nevertheless, the charm faded away quite soon: its European registrations dropped by 18% to 13,800 units in H1 2019. Why? Because its closest rivals were renewed (new BMW X4 and updated Porsche Macan), and because the Stelvio is neither a full family midsize SUV like the GLC, Q5 or X3, nor a sporty version (coupe SUV) like the GLC Coupe, X4 or Macan.


41 thoughts on “Absurd: Lancia sells more cars than Alfa Romeo

  1. Good Alfas sell bad. Bad Alfas sell good.
    It is an ugly business… Though not as ugly as the Stelvio. The Stelvio is very ugly.


  2. Alfa’s grand ideas are fine, but for Europe at least, they should have replaced the elderly Mito and Giulietta with one new Golf rival. A car which looked good and drove well and Alfa would have been top dog.


  3. I love Alfas,and will buy them as long as they are available.I hope soon they’ll have something everyone wants.


    • Same problems as always with Alfas , their dealers take liberties , I was charged 3 hours for 1 hours work . Their reply …. That’s what we charge…..I will never buy a new Alfa knowing that I have to get their dealers to service it.


    • Everybody wants a brand they can trust and show off .
      Most people misplace their trust in the usual German brands and those are also the badges they want to show.
      Most don’t care about cars technology nor dynamic performance.


  4. Remember though, the profit margins for Alfas will be far greater than the ypsilon. You say Alfa has 5 models when in actual fact they have 3 – we can’t include the 4C. Also the Giulia can now be seen as more of a reputation builder for Alfa, it is top of its class for performance, design and handling. Sedan sales are declining rapidly so it is never going to deliver big sales numbers. 2 more SUVs are needed to improve sales significantly!


  5. Lousy quality has to be a factor. At least in the US, it got bad publicity at launch and has not recovered.


    • Ok but things are getting better.But I will buy Alfa regardless.I already owned 2,and will be buying a Guilia and a Stelvio soon.


    • Sorry, “lousy quality”? In what way? It is one of the most reliable cars on the market, and the interior is like a piece of art. I’ve had zero issues in 18 months of ownership.


  6. Alfa is selling bad because others are newer, well not really. This kind of stories are present for very long and while it is true Alfa range is often old it is not this time the reason behind slow sales.
    Simply people do not want the car like Alfa. Majority do not understand the core values, nor they care about driving pleasure and dynamics.
    In most cases people find Alfa streinghts as weaknesses. Hard ride, no cup holders, small windscreen, steering very direct and heavier than they like, and the list just guess on. In short, idiots.


    • Idiots?? You sound like the idiot. If Alfa is do bad why did BMW try to make their 3 Series better,and other car manufacturer look up to Alfa.Ok they are doing well,but if you remember the Audi 100 ran them out of the US years ago,they came back,and now selling a few vehicles.I love Alfa,and that is what I will buy,it’s your money,so buy what you prefer.


      • I think by idiots he ment those who see the alfa core values as weakness. the sporty, drivers cars are valued by drivers, not a-to b travelers.


  7. It is quite easy to explain, in the UK at least. There a very few dealers, in some areas there are none for miles and miles in all directions.

    Some of those very few dealers are absolutely atrocious, and I’m being very conservative with that description!

    Having to wait nearly 4 weeks so far ( this is with a fantastic dealer ) for a wheel bearing to be replaced on my Giulia Quadrifoglio. Two have already been fitted and both were faulty out of the box.

    Delay after delay all entirely caused by, yes you guessed it, Alfa! Wait for parts, wait for parts again, wait for the Alfa tech to come and inspect the fault, wait the Alfa tech to source a non-faulty replacement bearing, what for him to come back to the dealership and fit it.

    Still waiting!

    Then there is the lack of any kind of worthwhile advertising, coupled with Alfa’s seeming inability to release a software update to fix the bluetooth fault with the infotainment system, that can actually be installed by the dealers. The fix has existed for quite a while now, but it won’t install!!

    The problem is Alfa, it has always been Alfa and unless something miraculous happens they will once again have succeeded in single-handedly causing their own failure.

    I love my Quadrifoglio when it’s working, I do not love Alfa!


    • I am so sorry about your problems,and hope things will get better.I won’t allow any problem to stop me form buying ant Alfa. I have owned 2 ,and will but again soon.I really hope they get their house in order because the cars are awesome cars. Good Luck.


  8. The reasons, altought there some missing new models, and technology stuff compared to its rivals, is the people..a lot customers needs to demostrate richness using german cars, and an Alfa can’t do that


  9. I love my Alfa Giulia Veloce Q4 280HP -2017 and only had minor issues with almost 60 000 km in two years!
    But in Sweden the alfa reputation is bad as in many countries. To improve sales I think an extended warranty and lower prices is the way to go. Why is it that Sweden only have 3 years warranty and Norway 7 years?? And get rid of all this basic models with poor options. More economical to sell a well equipped car with less extra options to a nice low price I think. In Sweden there are few dealers and you can’t sell an BMW or Merc with better warranty and services side by side with an equally priced Alfa Romeo! I am a pure Alfista and this is my sixth Alfa Romeo in a row. And the Giulia is definitely the best! But to convince the masses and overcome the bad reputation you can’t sell a brand new car for high price just because it wins almost all car tests. Better warranty, full spec cars with lower price and less basic options and more publicity in television and internet. Everywhere I stop people ask about my Giulia and praise the design and interior! Please FCA, don’t mess this up!


    • Happy to hear about your Alfa,may be you should forward your letter to Alfa or FCA.I look forward to getting my third Alfa.


    • “you can’t sell a brand new car for high price just because it wins almost all car tests“

      If that statement is true then it just makes me think that in this post truth world we now live in where experts and qualified individuals are sneered at and ignorance is valued, people are actually far more stupid than I already know most of them are.

      It’s like being a patient and being offered a drug that has been tested and shown to have far better long-term results and far fewer side-effects than its alternatives but saying no thanks I’ll stick with the one I already know which has terrible side-effects and is doubtful as to how effective it is!


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  23. “Why? Because its closest rivals were renewed (new BMW X4 and updated Porsche Macan), and because the Stelvio is neither a full family midsize SUV like the GLC, Q5 or X3, nor a sporty version (coupe SUV) like the GLC Coupe, X4 or Macan.”

    This is wrong information!
    The Stelvio is indeed the same size or even slighly bigger or wider than a GLC, Q5, X3 or XC60. It’s full family midsize SUV.
    It has only 4% less boot space than the GLC, Q5 or X3. It has 5% more boot space than XC60 and Macan.


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  25. You have to realize once and for all that trying to put Alfa Romeo in frontal battle with premium german brands like BMW is pure suicide !

    First, Alfa was NEVER a premium brand, it is at best a mid premium brand but with a very specific image thanks to its stylish designs and sporty cars.

    Second, the reputation of the brand is pretty bad on reliability, period. Everyone likes the looks but that’s all…and that’s the problem. If nobody trust the badge you can’t expect compete on the premium market. In fact you cannot expect compete in any market at all. That’s the reason Alfa sell less that 100K unit per year.

    Third, to be seen as a real premium brand you have to prove it on the long run ! German brands like BMW and Audi are at the top of the game not because their clients are tasteless morons but because they worked constantly during decades to earn and keep that premium image. BMW is offering high quality, reliability and cutting edge technological equipment in its cars for 40 + years. You cannot seriously hope to compete with that with just a Stelvio of a Giulia.

    That being said what are the (real)options for Alfa Romeo ?

    First, stop pretending to play a game Alfa can’t really play. Alfa is not a real premium brand its real competitors are not BMW or Audi but SEAT, Mazda, Skoda or Hyundai. That means to target higher volume and better quality vs price for customers.

    Second, build trust with customers (and that alone will take at least a decade) drastically improving quality and reliability.

    Third, put more cars on the market REAL people wants to buy (more SUV’s like Tonale, a new Giulietta, a new MITO and Giulia SW and less 4C or Giulia Quadrifoglio/GTA) stuffed with what customers wants nowadays (in short : cool digital screens and hybrid engine).

    Fourth, when you have build a decent mid-premium brand with a strong lineup and reached at the bare minimum 400 000 units per year you can begin to think about your next step.


    • Bullsh*t.
      German brands have been proven to be less reliable than average and people still do trust them.

      Brand image means everything.

      Alfa Romeo has scored much higher in terms of reliability.
      At least, two or three decades of proven reliability is not enough to change minds. Only actual owners know they’re reliable.


    • Typical example of bullsh*t:
      See the explanation for Stelvio poor sales:

      “Why? Because its closest rivals were renewed (new BMW X4 and updated Porsche Macan), and because the Stelvio is neither a full family midsize SUV like the GLC, Q5 or X3, nor a sporty version (coupe SUV) like the GLC Coupe, X4 or Macan.”

      The Stelvio *is indeed* a full family midsize SUV like the X3, GLC, XC60, Q5. Most people got a different idea because of the sporty lines.
      The real dimensions however tell the truth. It has the same size and similar cargo space. The Stelvio has 525Lts cargo space wich is 4% less than the X3 or Q5, same as the X4 and 5% more than the XC60 or Macan.
      Why isn’t the Stelvio a real sporty SUV if it’s the one with the best sporty handling and the more powerful 2.0 l engine?

      The truth is different than people perception as this article clearly reflects.
      It is biased and untruthful.


      • It doesn’t matter that what’s people think is true or not, they think it so it becomes true. Alfa needs to double its efforts to reach out to customers in order to survive, period. A strong advertising campaign might help as well as a 5 years guarantee on each vehicle. Plus extra effort on finition quality and more competitive prices. In order to achieve that volumes has to increase drastically. So new attractive models have to come (which means SUV’s stuffed with great screens and hybrid engines). In short : a real growth plan instead of miscalculated attempts like the Giulia (beautiful car but wrong segment and technologically outdated) or Stelvio (uncompetitive since most people will opt for German cars in that price range).


      • The Giulia and Stelvio are “only”technology outdated in the infotainment system.
        I agree that need to be updated there too, but they do deliver in comfort and dynamics.


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