Alfa Romeo aims to double production with new image

2 years ago - 10 July 2022, autocar
Alfa Romeo aims to double production with new image
Italian car maker's UK boss says it's taking aim at a new audience, including families

Alfa Romeo wants to double its production by the end of next year, its UK boss has told Autocar, by growing its brand among a more diverse audience.

Damien Dally told Autocar that the Italian manufacturer wants to move from an “emotion brand down to a rational one” and expand its range into more “volume” segments. 

This vision starts with the Alfa Romeo Tonale compact SUV, which will hit dealerships in September, followed by a new model every year up to 2030 under new owner Stellantis.

A compact battery-electric SUV will come in 2024, tipped to be called the Brennero, ahead of Alfa Romeo ditching internal combustion engines entirely by 2027.

Dally said this is part of a move to attract a new audience, with an eye on selling to more families and females. Currently, Alfa Romeo’s main buyers are middle-aged men. 

“This is the challenge for Alfa, as we're seen as a sporty brand,” Dally said, adding that the brand is still coming up with ideas to make itself more appealing, such as the Tonale’s “more accessible” 158bhp hybrid engine.

Alfa Romeo has also introduced a five-year warranty for its cars.

“I think we need to spread the Alfa story to a wider audience while still being pure to what we do,” said Dally.

Despite this new direction, Alfa's current customers and what they want are key, according to Dally, and despite the rise of the SUV market, saloons like the Guilia are still part of Alfa Romeo's future.

Saloon cars are part of what Alfa Romeo have always [been about],” he said. “The market may be moving away from saloon cars, but we still believe in them. But we also want to enter the volume segments, firstly with the Tonale.

"Alfa Romeo is sportiness. It's Italian design. And that's what we need to be true to. Even if people carriers become popular again, I don’t see us moving into that market. It will never work [for us].”

Dally also didn’t rule out a return to sports cars in the future.

Responding to when we could see a new two-seat Alfa Romeo, he said: “Not immediately, as those are small segments, but those are cars which I’m sure everyone would love to see Alfa [produce again].

"Let's get a sustainable business model, let’s get into the volume segments, grow our business and then we can dream again.

He continued: “We're a brand that can do incredible things. We're a car brand that can sell £150,000 cars. I think we're a car brand that could sell £500,000 cars if they were very limited models.

"There are lots of amazing things to come, but let’s first get this amazing, emotional brand down to a rational level. Let’s get ourselves into some volume segments. Let’s wake some people up to the brand.

A new Alfa Romeo Mito could also be on the cards to join. Previously talking to Autocar, Dally stopped short of confirming that a new supermini is coming but said: “The brand has a history of selling compact sporty cars, like the Alfasud, and it’s an interesting area of the market that’s high-volume and gives us a much wider offering."

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