Hooniverse Asks: Are You Pulling for Alfa Romeo?

Few manufacturers of what realistically might be considered affordable cars have the following that Alfa Romeo enjoys. Fewer still reward that loyalty and fealty with as much frustration. Hell, Jeremy Clarkson even equivocated that you couldn’t be a true auto enthusiast until you’d owned one of Alfa’s cars. Pfft.
Until recently here in the States the objects of that brand affection have been limited to the marque’s used wares as the company pulled up stakes and went home more than two decades ago. Since then they’ve sent us little more than vapid missives of their desire to return, but it wasn’t until a couple of years back that any concerted effort to do so was earnestly put forth.
The result was the loony-toon 4C, a car that’s both totally amazing and completely ridiculous all at the same time. Obviously the two-seat carbon-fiber chassis sports car has limited appeal and so the company’s second salvo across the pond, the Giulia, is a mainstream sedan with BMW’s 5-series locked in its sights. The thing of it is, the Giulia has had a really difficult birthing process, to the point where you have to wonder, can Alfa really make it here?
Sure, the new cars are as engaging, frustrating and viscerally exciting as the Alfas of old, but perhaps the world has moved on? What do you think, will the Italian company get their act together here? More importantly, do you even care any more if they do?
Image: RTL

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  1. Syrax Avatar

    Virtually all of Alfa’s presence in the US was as an independent. But now they’re Fiat, which is Chrysler too. That should bring some solidity to the comeback. Fiat has kept their only US marketable car, the 500, going. I believe Alfa needs the sales numbers more, they will try harder.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      “the Giulia, is a mainstream sedan with BMW’s 5-series locked in its
      It’s sized and priced to go up against the 3 series in Europe and elsewhere.
      Isn’t FCA in the ‘5 Series’ market with the Maserati Ghibli?

  2. Maymar Avatar

    Yes, absolutely! I love seeing the odd 4C around, as a weird overtly complicated Lotus Elise, and the Giulia looks fantastic on paper (as a cheap bastard, I’m really hoping we get the four-cylinder with a stick).
    At the same time, I don’t the Clarkson rule applies to North Americans, given our relatively limited Alfa selection.

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    Of course – the more choices we as driving consumers have, the better (especially a builder who will still give us 3 pedals on the floor!)
    A lot of the anticipation may be simply wanting what we couldn’t have (ala JDM, yo!) but I hope they’re here to stay.
    Personally, I live nowhere near a dealer, or proposed dealer, and unfortunately will probably never be a buyer, but damn if that Giulia isn’t a great looking car.

  4. Alff Avatar

    I am pulling for the Giulia. I’m going to need another car in 20 years.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      Don’t forget a parts car.

  5. engineerd Avatar

    I’m pulling for them. They’re a storied brand that has remained mostly true to their history. I think this go around will be easier given the FCA corporate umbrella and simpler dealer tie-ups. The biggest problem I see for them is the perception that anyone who drives an Alfa Romeo is easily lured by cougars.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I’ll admit that I could be lured by a cougar but any American who drives an Alfa today is unlikely to lure cougars.

    2. Monkey10is Avatar

      That’s a secret just the Robinson’s will know…

  6. JayP Avatar

    Because the Alfa show floor reps…

  7. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    No. They’ll be here for five minutes before high prices and poor quality drive them back over the ocean. The Italian makers have had the last 25 years to figure things out but they don’t really seem to have gotten any better at building cars (Ferrari aside). Mazda is the last maker on shaky ground that I’m cheering for – they’ve come closest to out-Alfaing Alfa and nearly succeeding as a business.

  8. kogashiwa Avatar

    Not so far, because they seem intent on being yet another “premium brand” with zero relevance to me. Bring the Giulietta and Mito and I’d get a lot more interested; however, a MazdaSpeed 3 would entirely remove the need for the Giulietta.

  9. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Overwhelmingly meh. I want to care, but I am not sure I do.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I understand. Everything pales next to the sweet nectar of a Suzuki compact.

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        Ouch. I was always nice to you.

        1. Alff Avatar

          Indeed. I hope that won’t change.

  10. mdharrell Avatar

    I haven’t pulled for them yet, but several of my vehicles do have trailer hitches.

  11. Batshitbox Avatar

    Are people buying Maseratis?
    Will people buy Alfa Romeos?
    See above.

  12. Jaap Avatar

    The presumed passion for the brand is vastly overrated or at least beyond selling date. Alfa Romeo has had it’s comeback at leat twice in the last 30 years. In the meantime, the biys and girls in Munchen, Stuttgart and Ingolstadt worked on their M-anything, AMG, RS versions of litterly everything they build including marketing them. Kinds like Lexus and Jaguar are challinging them over the same period without convincing result. One model won’t make the difference. To cut a long story short: Mission impossible

  13. William Robinson Avatar
    William Robinson

    Yes.. yes I am. I want a giulia in my life. Quality be damned. I have a 15 200 which has been nothing but reliable and a bit more entertaining than I thought it would be. Might be a sign that the giulia may not be that bad.

  14. hike15 Avatar

    Absolutely! It will be great having the Italians competing in the luxury market. They already have a reputation as being somewhat special and the brand name required by a luxury automaker, so as long as the cars are good and the marketing works (FCA usually gets that right), it could be a hit.
    It could also be incredibly tough. If the cars are unreliable or they don’t launch it properly, it could struggle. The biggest hurdle might be the dealer group. They don’t have the dealer presence of Lexus or BMW, nor do they have many stand-alone stores. Many are paired with Fiat, which is a budget car. People spending that kind of money on a car expect special service, not the same service as a cheaper automaker. Look at how Cadillac is doing, dualed with other GM stores. Hopefully as Maserati grows, FCA can have most Alfa stores with a Maserati store, that way they have their full line in one place, similar to how they do CDJR. It’s one line across different brands that covers the multiple segments.

  15. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    Not a chance of success for Alfa. FCA is finished already, with Sergio signing a deal with Google to become a contract manufacturer, their killing Dart and 200. All that remains is selling off Ram and Jeep. Sergio has killed the beast.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      This! Introducing new brands like Alfa and Fiat (which takes years and hundreds of millions to do successfully, just ask Infinity/Acura, both of which are still also-rans) while at the same time starving the established brands Chrysler and Dodge of cars. The 500 and Giulia should have been used to establish Dodge as an affordable performance brand, and any Lancia models could be used to revive Chrysler.
      Also: Alfa as a competitor to BMW/Mercedes? Even in Europe I don’t think they’re seen as being anywhere near that level.

  16. JBsC6 Avatar

    I’m rooting for them. I think the front grille will fail on the CUVs….I think it will turn off women and not sell as strong as the jaguar f pace.

  17. JBsC6 Avatar

    Yes I’m pulling for Alfa Romeo ….the new sedan with the handling package both with turbo four and twin turbo v6 is pretty hot,
    Pricing or better yet lease deals need to be better than BMW 3 series as those in this segment do shop by lease payments as much as attributes…
    If Alfa wants to launch correctly it can’t get gready….and Sergio tends to get gready and it backfires and can blow the launch and eventually kills the brand…
    Hopefully with Alfa he will follow the early Lexus launch method and price below the Germans

  18. outback_ute Avatar

    Yes but unfortunately I can’t see it working too well.