Stellantis’ honoree Carlos Tavares has proven himself to be adept at turning things around. GM lost money buying the Opel/Vauxhall unit in Europe for two decades before Tavares took the helm of Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) and acquired GM’s European division. Tavares restores Opel/Vauxhall to profit in a year. Within 18 months from PSA “merger” with Fiat-Chrysler is official, we no longer hear apocalyptic stories from some of the regular brands struggling under the new umbrella. All Italians – Alfa Romeoabarth, fiatLancia, maserati – say they are doing well, Alfa Romeo back in black and plan a range that will be more accessible and more enjoyable to own. After Tavares mastered the basics, we still didn’t find out if he knew how to switch brands, which all Italian carmakers need. At Alfa Romeo, the leader of North America told auto news that they are still laying the groundwork for a revolution. In doing so, the brand seems more like the kind of premium carmaker it has aspired to be since back in 2008.
Vincent Noirbent, Alfa Romeo’s vice president of product planning and transformation in the continent, said the automaker is working on a 10-year plan to position itself as Stellantis’ global premium brand inside under the purely luxury brand of Maserati. We don’t know how it will work with Lancia in Europe, but we don’t have Lancia, so potential conflict is beyond our jurisdiction. Autonews interpreted Noirbent’s message as, “Customer satisfaction and ride quality are arguably ‘more important’ to the brand than sales as it works to build momentum in the US”. brand and that does not depend on incentives. One Miami seller described comments from Alfa Romeo North American boss Larry Dominque as wanting to “make cars right first, create [ownership] better experience and build the value of the brand so someone will pay $100 more per month.”
In an interview from Pebble Beach, Dominique said luxury service experiences and experiential marketing will also be involved. This would include “concierge service, test-drive pickup and drop-off” and when visiting a dealership, “it’s something you can not only come to see beautiful cars but also have You can learn Italian cooking and wine tasting.”
All work will take time. Slight refresh for 2023 don’t hide the fact that the seven-year-old Giulia sedan, six-year-old Stelvio SUV and the more accessible Tonale aren’t here yet, which could explain why the brand’s sales fell in the US during the year. now compared to about 18,300 units on average for each of the past three years. Alfa Romeo climbed to 27th out of 33 products in JD Powers’ 2022 Initial Quality Survey, one place above its 2021 rankings. Still, the automaker took the top spot in the 2022 JD Power Sales Satisfaction Index among premium brands, a measure of customer satisfaction with a great experience. management, surpassing Porsche, Lexus, Cadillac and Infiniti. Noirbent said of the award, “Now, when you’re #1, there’s only one way [to go], so it never ends. We need to make sure that next year we do it again. We need to make sure we perfect our processes.”