How To Rebrand Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles: Alfa Romeo
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has issues. The merged company has long not known what to do with the brands they own but the issue hit critical mass in June 2018. Some brands like Maserati got a plan that would help turn the direction it was headed in for the better. Other brands got plans that would help continue or add on to their current success. However, the brands that you could arguably say matter the most, Fiat & Chrysler, as well as Dodge, didn’t get plans that would showcase & ensure their future, rather laying the seeds for these brands demise. So this article is part five of an eight-part series, showcasing how I would position the brands the FCA owns to be better successful. Previously, I explained how to rebrand Chrysler. Now in this article, I will particularly be focusing on the Italian Luxury Cloverleaf, Alfa Romeo, and how they shouldn’t squander their good fortune.
One might wonder why Alfa even needs to be targeted in this eight-part series. Alfa is currently doing just fine. This is true and speaking of their good fortune, Alfa Romeo was one of the company’s fortunate enough to get a plan from the FCA during that meeting. However, it is questionable in its marketing strategy going forward. Strictly thinking about the American market here, an LWB version of the Giulia and the Stelvio doesn’t make much sense. And the naming strategy for the new GTV sports car may cause issues later. So how can Alfa fix the little mistakes they’ve made? It's quite simple actually. Keep calm, use common sense, and follow the Germans in how they use brand structure.
We start this rebrand in 2019 by repositioning the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Its competition is the BMW 2-Series, Audi TT, Porsche 718 Cayman & Boxster, Mercedes-Benz SLC, BMW Z4, and the Lotus Evora 400. It’s time to better reflect that. The base trim level keeps the 1.7L 237 HP Turbo I4 but now an Italia trim level slots above it, making 280 HP from the same 2.0L Turbo I4 shared with the Gulia. The Italia comes available with performance upgrades to accommodate the power gain. Slotting above that is the return of the coupe Competizione. It uses a beefed up version of the 2.0L I4 with a twin turbo setup, making 360 HP mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission. Above that, the 4C finally gets a Quadrifoglio trim level. Available in spider or coupe, it comes with a detuned version of the 2.9L in the Gulia. Using only one turbo, the car will produce 404 HP also mated to a 7-speed sequential transmission. An 8-speed automatic is an available option. The Competizione and Quadrifoglio versions should be produced on a by order basis though.
The Giulia and Stelvio also would need either this 2.9L Turbo I6 making 404 HP or the Twin-Turbo 3.0L V6 in its 404 HP version from the Maserati Ghibli, filling that middle ground between the Quadrifoglio and the Ti Sport trims. The Giulia could also gain from the addition of an AWD system, a coupe, and an estate or shooting brake version of its car.
Slotting below the Giulia, the Giulietta replacement comes in coupe and hatchback variants, with its base trim using the 1.8L Turbo Multi-Air shared with other FCA products making 230 HP. The 2.0L Turbo I4 from the Giulia again makes its appearance in this car, still making the same 280 HP. A Giulietta Quadrifoglio will make 404 HP from a 2.9L Turbo I6, shared with the 4C but only with the 8-speed automatic. A CUV, the Alfa Romeo Tonale gets introduced as the Giulietta’s CUV counterpart. It shares all components with the Giulietta.
Slotting below the Giulietta is the Alfa Romeo Mito replacement. Coming as a sedan and a hatchback this time, it uses a Multi-Air 1.4L Turbo I4 making 190 HP mated to an 8-speed automatic. The Quadrifoglio version uses the 2.0L Turbo I4 making 280 HP currently in the Giulia. A special edition Quadrifoglio GTA version makes the same amount of power but comes with a special paint design and beefed up handling capabilities.
One of the issues with the Alfa 5 year plan was the GTV. By the looks of it, it’s an M6 sized coupe that makes 600+ HP through traditional Italian means and new hybrid tech. However, anyone knows there is money to be made in this segment and simply making the GTV a sports car as a standalone is a missed opportunity. Instead, the GTV should be used as a trim level for the returning Alfetta, in coupe, sedan & estate forms. Trim levels will resemble the levels the Giulia has with the engines being the 280 HP 2.0L I4 Turbo from the Giulia, a Ferrari derived 3.8L V8 making 480 HP, a 590 HP 3.8L V8 straight from the Maserati Levante Trofeo to be used in the Quadrifoglio. The Quadrifoglio GTV is the ultimate version of the Alfetta. By mixing a 3.8L, 600 HP V8 with a hybrid AWD powertrain, the car would have a complete system output of 680 HP. Interest enough, the coupe version of the Alfetta Quadrifoglio & Quadrifoglio GTV have a 2+2 setup, with a near 50/50 weight distribution. An SUV counterpart, the Alfa Romeo Turin, will also share all powertrains and trim levels with the Alfetta to be a solid competitor to the BMW X5 and others in the segment.
With that, the Alfa Romeo 8C is the supercar of the group, with three trim levels. The base 8C is a Gran Turismo supercar with a Ferrari derived 3.9L Twin Turbo making 660 HP. The Quadrifoglio version boosts that power to 710 HP. And the Quadrifoglio Competizione mixes the 710 HP V8 with a hybrid system to make 777 HP. The Competizione version is also a pure track-focused variant, similar to the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
With that, Alfa becomes a solid luxury super sports brand that has to be taken seriously and won’t make mistakes with the hierarchy. By setting up the lineup like this, it allows the consumer to be able to more clearly cross shop and see why the Alfa is the better choice. Especially as they add hybrid and all-electric versions to the lineup. Alfa was a relatively easy brand to reform but next article, I will be writing about Maserati.
© 2019 Joshua Nightshade