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Kez Casey | Jul, 24 2015 | 14 Comments

The arrival of Alfa Romeo’s new premium mid-size Giulia sees a strategic shift for the Italian brand in Australia as it aims to take itself upmarket.

Premium brands like BMW and Audi are soon to become prime competitors.

To ensure customer expectations are met Fiat Chrysler Australia CEO, Pat Dougherty, discussed some of Alfa Romeo’s future plans with TMR.

“Clearly if we want to be premium we have to look, feel and act like we’re premium.” Mr. Dougherty said.

“We’re in the process of going around and talking to all of our Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealers and laying out what our strategy is going forward”

“By the time we get to a point where a majority of the products will have been launched we anticipate having a stand-alone Alfa Romeo network.

"That’s going to require investment from the dealers as well, so we want to make sure that we go to where the right locations are, the premium markets, and we don’t overpopulate the dealer network.”

The move to stand-alone dealers will see Alfa Romeo separated from the showrooms it shares with other FCA brands.

Currently Alfa Romeo’s range appears alongside Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, and in some locations Fiat Professional commercial vehicles.

Giving Alfa Romeo dedicated sales outlets allows for more premium product in the pipeline to stand apart from the mainstream models in Fiat Chrysler’s lineup.

Specially trained staff and more premium feeling dealerships also become possible with standalone dealerships..

Existing dealers may still be able to combine their service and parts operations behind the scenes as a way of mitigating costs.

Giulia represents the next stage in a brand renaissance that began with the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car.

As reported previously by TMR, Fiat Chrysler’s ambitious five-year product plan has been rearranged to push new Alfa Romeo products forward.

The recent global unveiling of the Giulia QV left little doubt of that car’s potential to take on performance sedans like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. When asked about the wider Giulia range Mr. Dougherty was enthusiastic about the coming lineup.

“We’ll have it here in all of the configurations that have been discussed on a global basis.” He said,

“we have discussions almost daily with the product team in Asia and in Italy, so it’s exciting.”

The Giulia range is expected to arrive with four cylinder and V6 engines, built on a new rear wheel drive platform. An Australian launch has been confirmed but isn’t expected before late 2016 or early 2017.

MORE: Alfa Romeo Giulia News
MORE: Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Revealed

 
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