The then FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne predicted that Alfa Romeo sales would reach 400,000 by 2018, approximately 150,000 in North America. It was hard to see how such a surge in sales could be achieved. A couple of automotive analysts came up with 220,000 and 250,000. Premium car buyers are more conservative and less likely to brand hop than mainstream buyers so the predictions looked optimistic.
That is how it transpired. The two sedans have done nothing like expected, not helped by customers turning away from that body style anyway. The new Stelvio SUV is doing OK, but again short of expectation based on the above mentioned predictions. 119,000 sales and a 9% increase in 2018 were what actually occurred.
Alfa's situation isn't helped by a lack of a true global presence. Over a third of the total sales comes from Italy and that is an over dependence on one market. 69% of sales are in Europe and if you add North America, that comes to 90%. China has been a very important market for most premium marques, but Alfa Romeo only sold about 5,500 units there in 2018.
Summary: It's tough carving out a place in the premium segment. Brand cachet is so important and establishing that takes patience. Taking sales away from other marques is a long haul undertaking. Alfa Romeo has increased its sales, but money needs to be spent widening the range, especially SUVs. Has FCA got the money and patience to do that?
I'd like to see FCA get involved with another manufacturer regarding AR. The Jaguar marque is one I see strong similarities and sharing models would be a way to expand the range without huge investment. It would have to be done in a way that both brand retain their uniqueness but other car makers do it. The cost savings alone make it a no-brainer.
Data source: Fiat Group's World.