So far at least, Alfa Romeo’s story in North America can’t be qualified a big success. As interesting as its models here are, not enough buyers are clamouring for them.
And changes to the range are few and far between. The Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV have been with us unchanged for several years. And nice as the new 4C exotic sports car, it isn’t going to be game changer for the Italian brand.
And yet, the talk we hear from Alfa Romeo lately is quite positive.
In an interview with Autocar, company CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato declared that the brand he heads makes more money than it spends on each vehicle sold, which bodes well for the future. The arrival of the Tonale SUV has a lot to do with this, as it's off to an interesting start. Alfa Romeo could deliver 90,000 units of the Tonale by 2023, and that should grow significantly between now and 2025.
Imparato further predicts that Alfa Romeo will soon beat its annual sales record, set way back in 1990. That record stands at 223,643 units. At that time, the brand's portfolio was much more extensive and the range much more diversified. Nevertheless, growth is expected over the next two years, notably due to the Tonale, but also with another upcoming SUV that should be positioned below it in the range. This means a more attractive price, which should attract more buyers.
The new model will be all-electric and essentially a higher-end cousin to the Fiat 600 and Jeep Avenger. There’s no guarantee of it coming to North America, however, given its small format. Bigger EVs are planned for our market, but they aren’t scheduled to launch before the second half of the decade.
In the meantime, we're sure to see the Giulia and Stelvio renewed and upgraded, and almost surely switched to all-electric.
Imparato made it clear that Alfa Romeo is not looking for sales volume at any price. The focus is on profit margins, which the company hopes will reach at least 10 percent. He added that a healthy cash flow will create new opportunities for new vehicle models.
So there's reason to be positive at Alfa Romeo, particularly since the creation of Stellantis in early 2021. Recall that Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares gave each of the new auto group’s brands 10 years before making decisions concerning them. Alfa Romeo may be ensuring its survival.