Published on May 18th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Has Alfa Romeo Failed Its Many Fans
Alfa is probably the most loved car brand in the world today.
We ask this question because we love this brand and not because we want to ‘put it down’. Over the two decades of doing this job, we have test driven a handful of new Alfa Romeos, the last being the current sexy and seductive Giulia and the first being an Alfasud some 25 years ago.
In between, we have driven the hugely popular Alfa GTV (the 2-liter and also the 2.5-liter) and even the Brera, 159 and the Giulietta which was the last Alfa Romeo to be officially sold in Malaysia. The franchise holder (brand guardian) for the Alfa Romeo brand remains with the Sime Darby Group till today and since the launch of the 2012 Giulietta back in May 2012 the management of Sime Darby Group were forced to retire the brand soon after as there was no proper direction from the management of the Alfa Romeo team from Italy on new models, updated variants or even attractive pricing to compete with the strong German and French automotive offensive into Malaysia and also the region.
To date there is still new brand guardian for the Alfa Romeo brand in Malaysia and it remains open for negotiations.
In ASEAN, Alfa continues to have a great following and owners of classic Alfa Romeo’s will never sell their ‘works of art’ until their hands are forced.
Meanwhile, there are a handful of enthusiast, (in particular one Malaysia gentleman) who is spending a lot of time, effort and also funds to restore classic Alfa Romeo’s back to ‘better than factory’ condition.
A lot of effort which should be appreciated by the factory management as even their historic center is not doing this level of restoration at their home country.
So, with only the Stelvio SUV, Alfa 4C sports car, Giulia sports sedan and the facelift Giulietta in their current portfolio, Alfa Romeo management are not looking after their die-hard fans in bringing to market a well engineered and reliable product that keeps up with its rivals.
We say this because we have spoken to brand new Giulia owners who love their cars (when they work) but were forced to sell them (at a loss) due to unreliable electronics and hard to forgive quality issues like leaking doors, leaking rear bonnet and questionable cabin build quality. Lets not forget the many electronic issues involving the drive mode system, engine sensors and more.
Then came the recalls for defects that could cause serious accidents. In September 2018 there was a recall for the enginewhich might misfire causing the catalytic converter to overheat, possibly resulting in damage to the nearby wiring and engine components.
In early May 2019 there was a recall for the driver seat guides which might be wrongly positioned and might cause the driver seat to be detached thus causing an accident. This followed the fault cruise control recall two week later in May which might cause unintended sudden acceleration which could result in an accident. In February this year there was another recall for the rear disc brakes which reduces braking performance.
This coming from a car manufacturer with so many years (since 1910) of manufacturing know how and also some many years of model after model of after sales and reliability issues. They just never got it right did they!