It seems as Alfa Romeo continues it’s revival with various new models in the ‘pipeline’ following the Giulia and recent launch of its SUV the Stelvio, that two of its existing models may face being dropped.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks are at risk of being scrapped, with Alfa saying the two hatchbacks aren’t on the same level as its recently introduced Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover.
Speaking to AutoExpress, Alfa Romeo brand boss Reid Bigland said products like the MiTo and Giulietta were engineered with the European market in mind. Now that Alfa is chasing global markets like the United States and China, it doesn’t make sense for the brand to commit to such products.
“They’re still selling, but they’re very Euro-centric; we don’t sell them in the US and we won’t roll them into China,” Bigland said at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. “The new Alfa is defined by the 4C, Stelvio and Giulia. That’s what we’re focusing on. The Giulietta and MiTo are two very good cars but they’re not at that same level of Giulia and Stelvio – and the benchmark we have set at Alfa is much more consistent with the Giulia and Stelvio.”
Alfa Romeo North America director, Pieter Hogeveen, echoed Bigland’s statements when speaking to us at the recent Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. Hogeveen said it’s hard to picture products like the Giulietta making it to North America as small vehicles offer low profit margins and aren’t popular in North America or China and said Alfa’s more likely to chase a larger corner of the market rather than the subcompact segment.
“Well if you take a look at where the industry’s going in the U.S., the premium industry is about two million units a year,” Hogeveen said. “Where you see the growth is in larger vehicles, not in the smaller sized vehicles. We want to make sure we compete in segments where the volume growth opportunity is, but we also want to deliver on the attributes people have to expect from an Alfa Romeo. So at this time, Giulietta doesn’t fit into our plan.”
Whether this turns out to be the case only time will tell, certainly rumours of the MiTo’s demise have been around for a while with many expecting the Italian carmaker to replace it with an upmarket Nissan Juke size SUV. Dropping the Giulietta however seems very questionable, with the Giulia having been launched and successfully taken on the BMW 3 series, many would expect a Giulietta replacement to become a direct 1 series/A Class rival.