It’s ranked as one of the major concerns among existing owners – alongside poor customer service and product quality, and low residuals – in CSI research conducted by the company.
Nicoll is confident about the desirability of Alfa’s cars, yet admits that “infrastructure and customer service is as important as product” if the company is to steal sales from Lexus and BMW over the next few years.
However, unlike the other major problems facing the brand, the parts issue has been one of the ‘quick fixes’ in improving service.
Changes now in place require dealers to stock a mandatory list of parts, implement new dealer systems, and better incentives on urgent customer orders.
Customers with cars off the road will also be entitled to a courtesy car including like-for-like replacements.
Alfa also recognizes that it had been taking about a month to deal with complaints. This unacceptable situation has led it to set up a new central customer service department that is tasked with answering grievances within 48 hours. An audit next month will check progress.