Alfa Romeo Australia has revamped its pricing structure and expanded its dealership network to become a serious competitor to the likes of Volkswagen and Opel as it seeks to triple sales from a low-key 2012.
In 2012 Alfa Romeo Australia sold just 906 vehicles, which included the Giulietta and Mito. The revised pricing structure announced today is expected to see sales at least triple in the next 12 months as Fiat Chrysler expands it network and operations in Australia.
Having taken over the job from former importers, Ateco, Fiat Alfa Romeo Director, Rob Moorcroft, freely admits that Alfa Romeo’s were never priced competitively and that this is the “first time in Australia someone has had a serious attempt at it.” He believes the rejuvenation of the Jeep and Chrysler brand should give some indication of what might happen to Alfa Romeo and Fiat in the near future.
“We are going to continue to drive it that way like we did with Jeep and Chrsyler.” Moorcroft said.
Prices were the first part of the restructure, with some models having dropped by almost $8,000. The entry price of the Alfa Romeo MiTo Progression has gone from $31,990 to $25,200, a $6,790 reduction. The mid-spec Distinctive variant has been reduced by $7,890 to $27,100 while the range topping Quad Verde comes down by $4,990 to $30,000.
It’s a similar story with the Volkswagen Golf-sized Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which now starts from $29,390, a $7,640 reduction. The diesel model has come down by $5,740 to $35,250 while the hot-hatch 1.8-litre Quad Verde is now under $39,150.
The new pricing system is a clear indication that Alfa Romeo is expecting big changes in its Australian operations as it seeks to establish itself for future growth.
That growth strategy goes hand in hand with the dealership expansion, which in less than 12 months has gone from 17 dealers (when the factory took over from Ateco distribution) to 46 today, with plans to expand to that to around 60-70 in the next few years.
Moorcroft admits that the dealership experience and reach will be crucial to Alfa Romeo meetings expected sales targets.
“Dealers are the backbone they sell the second and third vehicle and they are the first to break a brand reputation.”
The Alfa Romeo Mito is due for a facelift soon, while the Giulietta will expand its range with more variants in the near future.
The big news is the confirmation that the Alfa Romeo 4C will be coming to Australia in the early part of 2014, which will see the brand lead with a much-needed halo car to reclaim the passion and enthusiasm car lovers have long desired from Alfa Romeo.