Alfa Romeo Exec Sets Bar High For Next-Gen Models
It all starts with the Giulia and the Stelvio SUVby Kirby Garlitos, on
Given Alfa Romeo’s tenuous status in the auto industry these days, you would think that it wouldn’t be making any bold proclamations to put even more pressure on the brand. But FCA Australia’s new CEO, Steve Zanlunghi, apparently isn’t shy about setting the bar high for the Italian automaker, telling Car Advice that Alfa’s future models would be “comparable towards Maserati-type brands.”
There once was a time when such a statement was accurate. But Alfa has been stuck in the mud for quite some time now and its current status is largely hinged on how successful the Giulia sedan and the upcoming Stelvio SUV are going to be. It’s a lot of pressure for two models to carry, but Zanlunghi is confident enough that both models can be competitive relative to their expected rivals and that they can bring the brand back to prominence in time for the other four models that are scheduled to arrive by 2020.
“With the next generation of Alfas that are coming out, as you will see in Giulia first, I don’t think it’s more about cost but [instead] aligning ourselves with where we are going to perceive where the competition is, based on the product,” Zanlunghi pointed out.
On the one hand, it’s a bold statement to make. On the other hand, it can also be seen as the ultimate shot of confidence given to a brand that needs it. Either way, Zanlunghi’s comments are a testament to the goals of the Italian automaker and where it sees itself relative to the competition in the future. Only time will tell if Alfa can get there, but at least there are people within FCA who are confident enough to speak on those goals and set those expectations at a high level.
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Think of this as a step in the right direction
Some people might think of this as overconfidence coming from an FCA exec, but I for one love that somebody is willing to come out and define Alfa Romeo’s goals. It tells me that the brand is not backing away from the challenge of becoming relevant again even though it’s had a lot of missteps over the past few years.
In a lot of ways, this is the kind of attitude that you want from a company that’s determined to redeem itself. At the very least, it’s a lot better than approaching the future with an inkling of skepticism. That kind of attitude doesn’t help the least bit, especially in a business as competitive as the auto industry.
I appreciate what Zanlunghi said and I’m sure fans of Alfa Romeo will appreciate too.
Read our full review on the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia here.
Read our full review on the upcoming 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio here.
Source: Car Advice