America Hates Alfa Romeo: Sales Plummet
Alfa Romeo is doing quite well in its home Italian market, as you would expect. It is posting record numbers of sales. But that home market success is not translating into better U.S. sales. In fact, the Alfa Romeo brand and its models are tanking here. How bad is it? Let’s take a look.
How bad are Alfa Romeo North American sales?
For the quarter just ending in March, Alfa Romeo sales were up three times what they were in Q1 2022. That’s an amazing spike on its home turf. Especially, the Tonale crossover is taking all of Europe by storm.
And the facelifted Stelvio and Giulia, which we haven’t gotten yet, have also gotten large numbers. Stelvio and Giulia’s sales ramped up 35% between February and March 2023. But in the U.S., those numbers are the opposite, already down from a terrible 2022.
For the first quarter of 2023, Alfa Romeo sold 2,390 vehicles in total. For the first three months. Across the entire U.S. and Canada. A year ago, in the same quarter, it sold 3,291 vehicles, which everyone considered the worst it could get.
Can anything help Alfa Romeo here?
But let’s be clear, things are different in the U.S. than in Europe. First, the Tonale is not yet available here. And as mentioned, the U.S. has also not gotten the facelifted versions of the Giulia and Stelvio. We guess Alfa Romeo sees no hurry in spicing things up in America, with numbers as low as they are, though you would think they would.
In all of 2022, Alfa Romeo sold a total of 12,843 cars, which was 30% lower than the previous year. But averaging sales in 2023, based on the first quarter, shows Alfa is likely to squeeze out under 10,000 models in 2023. But then, Alfa Romeo sales have never been stellar.
Its best year was in 2018 when it sold 23,800 models, according to GoodCarBadCar. For three years after that, it hit a stride of 18,000+ sales. That appeared to be the norm, until 2022. That’s when the plunge began. And without new models or any facelifts, compelling SUVs, as well as not even a hybrid offering, lower sales will continue.
Is reliability better?
And then there is that old reliability elephant lurking around again. With reliability always suspect before it left the North American market in 1995, it was expected to be nonexistent when it came back. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Consumer sites like Edmunds and Consumer Reports have been merciless in their rants over poor quality and reliability issues. Since 2017, there have been 14 recalls of various issues.
Once the Tonale arrives here, and with those facelifts, plus expected issues sorted out, sales should rebound, somewhat. We don’t know what the Italian company’s expectations are, but selling 20,000 to 30,000 a year should keep it in North America for the foreseeable future.
The Tonale should be at dealerships by the end of the summer this year. And Alfa Romeo is taking orders for both the premium Veloce trim right now.