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Alfa Romeo Giulietta axed

It's curtains for the Giulietta, as Alfa Romeo drops its smallest passenger car. It will be replaced indirectly by a new crossover, at least in Europe.

5 months ago
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William Stopford
Journalist

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta will end its almost decade-long run sometime this year, according to a senior Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) executive.

Fabio Migliavacca, Alfa Romeo’s head of product marketing, told Autocar the Giulietta will end production “at the end of this year”.

An FCA spokesperson in Australia confirmed there’s still stock available of the Giulietta.

A replacement Giulietta had already disappeared from FCA’s future product plans back in 2017.

Instead of being replaced with a new generation of C-segment hatchback, the Alfa Romeo range will instead open with the Tonale, a C-segment SUV.

The Tonale will also be available as a plug-in hybrid, according to FCA’s most recent five-year plan.

Though it’s an SUV, Migliavacca assures it won’t be an inferior substitute for the Giulietta.

“We don’t expect dynamics to be a weak point for the Tonale,” he said.

The BMW X1-rivalling Tonale is set to start production in 2021, but has yet to be confirmed for an Australian launch.

It first debuted as a concept at the 2019 Geneva motor show, though it was later leaked in full production trim by Autopareri.

The most recent FCA five-year plan also revealed the Tonale would be joined in 2022 by an even smaller, B-segment SUV that’ll be available as a battery-electric vehicle.

Last year, Alfa Romeo slashed its product plans in half, leaving a resurrected GTV, 8C and a large SUV on the cutting room floor.

That leaves just the two new SUVs, plus the Giulia and Stelvio which should receive facelifts next year.

The Tonale will be a welcome introduction for Alfa Romeo as the market continues to embrace SUVs and the brand struggles with declining sales.

Alfa Romeo sales were down 30.3 per cent in Australia last year compared to 2018 numbers.

Even more worryingly for FCA, sales were down 53.48 per cent in Europe last year and even slid 23.14 per cent in the US market, one which they only re-entered five years ago.

Giulietta sales have been on a downward trajectory for some time in Australia despite a couple of facelifts and some model range reshuffling.

Year-to-date, Alfa Romeo has sold only 35 Giuliettas. In comparison, there were 44 Peugeot 308s sold and Renault moved 95 Meganes. Volkswagen also managed to sell 3425 Golfs, while 499 Audi A3s found new homes.

Last year, Alfa Romeo sold 169 Giuliettas in Australia, well down from its 2012 high watermark of 610 sales. In Europe, sales were down to 15,690 from a high of 78,911 in 2011.

The Giulietta range currently opens with the Super, featuring a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine with 125kW and 250Nm and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Alfa Romeo is advertising drive-away pricing of between $40,000 and $42,000, depending on your state.

The Veloce and Veloce S pack a punchy turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine under their bonnets, producing 177kW and 340Nm and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.