Why the Alfa Giulia was delayed
Alfa Romeo originally intended, when it announced the Giulia, that some Cloverleafs would be in buyers’ hands by the end of last year. Three months after that, it’s only just coming off the production line. Good news is, so is the rest of the range.
Harald Wester, Alfa CEO, says that the delay was needed to make sure all systems on the car “had the necessary maturity”.
We ask him about a report in a well-sourced industry newspaper that the car was delayed because it failed crash tests. He looks TG dead in the eye and calmly raises a single finger in the air.
So we ask him for a quote. “Nothing of this is true. Absolutely nothing. When it [the story] was written, we had homologation in the US and Europe and we had five stars. The only thing we were working on was the very difficult small-overlap test.” He explains they were trying to get a common structure that would work both for the Giulia and the next new Alfa, a heavier crossover. And they succeeded.
A crossover is on course for launch at the turn of the year. During 2017 there will be a bigger saloon, and a bigger crossover by 2018. Alfa now plans to launch four more cars by 2020 (two more SUVs and a likely a coupe and convertible).
Last year the plan called for a rollout of all eight of those cars by 2018, but the dealers said they couldn’t cope. “They were complaining it would be difficult for them to manage a new product every five to six months. We need to give them time.”