Bad news for fans and well wishers of Alfa Romeo. After so much hype, Automotive News Europe reports that the Italian brand will delay the sales launches of two models – the Giulia sedan and an SUV based on the Giulia – according to sources.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan, revealed to much fanfare in June, will now go on sale in Europe in the middle of next year, which is six months later than initially planned. Regular Giulias are set to debut in late 2016.

Alfa’s first SUV will not surface before early 2017, nine months later than planned, according to ANE‘s two supplier sources. The US launches for both cars are scheduled to happen about three to six months after Europe. Alfa Romeo declined comment.

The BMW M3-rivalling 503 hp Giulia Quadrifoglio was due to launch in Europe by the end of this year, ahead of less potent higher volume variants, Alfa’s European dealers were told during the car’s presentation in June. The market launch is delayed because Alfa is working to refine some safety and ride characteristics, the sources said.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne said on October 28 that the company is re-examining Alfa’s global expansion because of the slowdown in China. He reaffirmed a planned five billion euro investment announced in May 2014 to boost Alfa’s annual global sales to 400,000 units with eight new models, but said the investment will be completed in 2019/2020.

Alfa Romeo is not present in China and FCA has not set a date for the brand’s introduction in the world’s largest market. Alfa’s revival plan originally allocated about 20% of the 400,000 target to the Middle Kingdom, and a large portion of that will now have to be absorbed by other regions.

FCA will work hard in the next 30 to 60 days to review Alfa’s business plan and the new vehicles may come in a different order to satisfy consumer tastes in Europe and North America, Marchionne told analysts on the Oct 28 conference call after FCA announced its third-quarter results. He added that the revised sequence will likely be announced in January.


The Alfa masterplan includes eight new models, speculated to include a Giulietta replacement, a sedan larger than the Giulia, as well as large and compact SUVs. Delays to the first two of the eight cars means that Alfa is unlikely to hit the ambitious 400,000 unit target in 2018. IHS Automotive forecasts slightly more than 230,000 annual sales by then, up from 68,000 last year.

IHS analyst Ian Fletcher said that Marchionne’s latest revision of Alfa’s revival plans could be the boss “managing expectations” for the brand. He says that Marchionne may postpone the launch of niche models such as the large sedan, instead prioritising the type of models Alfa needs “to enable it to survive,” including the Giulietta replacement.

Let’s hope that this is merely a setback and that the latest attempt to revive Alfa Romeo is not dead before it even starts.

GALLERY: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio at Frankfurt 2015