Alfa Romeo plans on introducing nine new models by 2021, brand boss Reid Bigland told Autocar in a recent interview.
We first heard about Alfa Romeo’s future product plans in August, when it was reported that the automaker had plans to bring a station wagon, a full-size sedan, a seven-seat SUV and a sportscar to market by 2021. Bigland has now revealed more about Alfa’s five-year plan, revealing to Autocar it hopes to go product-for-product with the Germans.
“Our goal is absolutely to go toe to toe with the Germans, but that’s not a two-year plan,” he said. “We’re just not going to get there that quickly. They’re in every segment and spinning derivatives off those segments.”
“Even with the new [Stelvio] SUV, we will only have 50% coverage of the market,” he added. “We need to pick our strategy and get it right. We have one chance to make the best possible car with every launch.”
The Stelvio, slated for a debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, will be the first in a line of new Alfa SUVs to arrive. A large SUV based on the Maserati Levante, a small crossover that would compete with the BMW X1 and a coupe-like version of the Stelvio similar to the BMW X4 are all on the cards.
Bigland made it clear SUVs are beginning to become the focus of Alfa’s five-year plan, taking the place of sedans. An Alfa Romeo SUV or crossover would have sacrilege just a short time ago, but with consumers all over the world scooping them up, it’s likely Alfa will bring its hoard of SUVs to market before a full-size mid-size sedan is introduced.
“Ten years ago I’d have said we need the saloon to credibly take on the Germans,” Bigland said. “Now, the explosion in SUV sales changes that. I’m not saying we won’t do the saloon, but it might not be next on the list.”
In addition to SUVs and crossovers, a sportscar, a station wagon version of the Giulia and a full-size sedan, Alfa is also considering bringing back the Giulietta. The compact hatch may ride on the rear-wheel drive Giorgio platform that underpins the Giulia, however reengineering the architecture may prove to be too costly. Ultimately, the sales success of the Giulia and Stelvio will influence the decision.