Seven new models in four years means Alfa Romeo plans to quadruple UK sales by mid-decade, but won’t be appointing huge numbers of new dealers to do it.
That was the message from managing director Andrew Humberstone as the brand launched the first of them, the all-new Giulietta.
With a predicted volume of 11,000 units this year and 18,000 in 2011 – compared with 9,000 in 2009 – Humberstone believes the brand should be hitting 45,000 in 2016.
“We will just be filling the open points that currently exist. We have to get to that level of sales for us to make sense as a network, but to do it we need a bigger product portfolio, which is coming,” he explained, before adding: “But it will be someone else’s target by then!”
Alfa currently has 49 retailers, with open points such as Liverpool, Bristol and Leeds expected to be filled by the end of the year.
When quizzed about whether such a boost in sales would be good for the Alfa brand, Humberstone answered: “We will not be mainstream, we’ll remain niche but with more volume.”
He said he didn’t want to be like Porsche, which in his opinion had made a mistake in becoming too common.
The next new model to arrive will be a replacement for the 159 – rumoured to be badged the Giulia – plus an estate.
They’re expected in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
There will also be a five-door MiTo and a new Spider in the same years, plus two crossovers in 2013 and 2014.
Humberstone explained: “Everyone has done it and they are all very successful. They will be two-wheel drive initially but later four-wheel drive.”
He said he expected they would sit in the B/C and C/D segments, though nothing had been confirmed by Italy.