The Italian brand is poised to release eight all new models by 2018 and will compete in the four largest premium segments globally against the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The company is aiming for a seven to eight per cent market share. Nonetheless, it won’t be getting there with incentives and discounting.
“These people I think who are in this segment have a clear understanding of what is a fair price for the value they get and what I do not want to do in the future is to start to conquest customers based on a discount, because it will be very difficult to get away from this and to go up.” Wester told CarAdvice.
Wester claims that all new Alfa Romeo products will be as good if not better than their German rivals, as such, asking for equivalent money should pose no issues in terms of a value for money proposition.
“So the equation is easy, we offer you at least the same if not better which has a different brand and a different position, a real alternative – we don’t ask you more, we ask you just the same.”
However, the interim challenge for Alfa Romeo in Australia will be the Mito and Giulietta, which represent a previous generation of the company’s products pricing and market positions that are not reflective of the company’s new push towards a premium brand.
“This problem only exists in Western Europe, because the Mito and Giulietta are not even homologated [in other markets]. In the regions we are selling, we will keep this but we will not extend. We will not extend. Yes, we are selling in Australia [also] and where we are we will continue but we will not push Mito and Giulietta in new markets.”
The fate of the Mito and Giulietta remains safe for now, as the brand seeks substantial investment from dealers for the next phase of its strategy.
“We are, as we go for a new corporate identity on the dealerships, requesting our partners to make significant investment and doing this by taking away in the parallel the backbone of their current business is not a great idea."
According to Wester, the main focus will be to deliver a coherent product strategy that is reflective of what the brand seeks to be, which would in turn then bring in customers without the need for discounting.
“I have some doubts about incentivising a product that is already several years in the market compared to a new one. From my point of view that is not incoherent. What you have to guarantee is that your product line up is coherent and respective to what you the brand to stand for.”
The new Alfa Romeo will also seek to put to rest any perceived reliability or quality issues as it takes on the Germans.
“There cannot be discussions about quality and performance and whatever.”