ALFA ROMEO is reportedly considering reviving the Giulietta badge - not seen on an Alfa since 1985 - after dropping Milano as the name of its upcoming 147 successor.
The move comes as employees at Alfa Romeo's Milan-based plant protested the use of the city's name on a car due to arrive just as the factory is set to be shut down. A tad insensitive perhaps?
Founded in Milan 99 years ago, Alfa Romeo is to relocate its facilities to Turin in January, where the brand's owner Fiat is headquartered.
Alfa was set to release official images of the Milano today, but with the sudden move to change the car's name - decided only on Friday - the unveiling has been postponed until a name is chosen.
According to industry paper Automotive News, sources close to the matter have reported that Alfa is considering naming the 147's successor Giulietta, making it the third Alfa model to wear the name.
Previous Giulietta models include a sedan and coupe built between 1954 and 1965, and a sedan built between 1977 and 1985.
The Alfa formerly-known-as-Milano has been spied numerous times this year, including camouflaged testing at the Nurburgring, and undisguised photos uploaded by an Alfa enthusiast to social networking website Facebook.
Alfa Romeo CEO Luca De Mao confirmed recently that the 147 successor would arrive in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The all-new hatch is expected to utilise Fiat?s C-Evo platform, which it will share with the Lancia Delta and the Fiat Bravo.
Power is expected to come from Fiat?s main engine line, starting with a four-cylinder petrol engine developing 90kW, through to a 198kW 3.2 litre V6 mill.