Alfa Romeo’s new CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato is confident the Italian brand could do much better in the United States, one of its key global markets. Despite the 25-percent increase in sales in the first quarter of the year, there are many things that need to be addressed before Alfa is ready to better compete against its competitors. Obviously, first and foremost, it needs more models.
While Imparato is impressed with Alfa’s current two-model lineup and describes it as “fantastic” in a recent interview with Automotive News, he admits the automaker needs more fresh models. Thankfully, a new small crossover is coming, though it will be delayed until the summer of 2022 as Imparato wants to see a more capable plug-in hybrid powertrain under the hood. The so-called Tonale will reportedly be launched in July next year and should arrive in the United States at some point in 2022.
Gallery: Alfa Romeo tonale 2020, first leaked pictures
Alfa Romeo is cooking up one more crossover. Initially dubbed the Brennero, the high-riding machine will be smaller than the Tonale and will be based on the existing PSA eCMP architecture. This platform enables a purely electric version and it is believed the model will be launched with combustion, hybrid, and EV powertrains. It may be too small for a US launch, though.
With fresh new products, and quality to match its German rivals, Alfa Romeo has better chances of succeeding on the US market, Imparato believes. Currently, despite the increased sales in Q1 of 2021, the Italian marque ranks 14th out of 15 brands considered premium in America with only Jaguar being below Alfa. "We must improve the quality of our business model in terms of economic performance, product quality, and the right distribution channels," Imparato added during a recent roundtable with media representatives.
Following the merger between FCA and PSA, Alfa Romeo will have “greater opportunities” to expand its business. It will have access to new technologies, and will even develop a new generation of models in cooperation with Lancia and DS for a market launch in 2024.