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New electric suv

Sometimes a manufacturer is in such bad weather that a new model almost literally has to drag the brand away from the gates of hell. The Italian Alfa Romeo is such a brand. The responsibility of the new Tonale SUV rests on the shoulders of the legendary manufacturer to regain much-needed success.

That can turn out very well, by the way. The Peugeot 205 is famous. In the second half of the 1970s, Peugeot became the full owner of Citroën and also took over Chrysler’s European branch. 

That turned out to be difficult, as a result of which the brand ended up in the red in 1980 and tens of thousands of layoffs were made.

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 With the 205, introduced in 1983, the problems did not disappear in one fell swoop, but the way up was taken. Alfa Romeo wants to do the same with the Tonale.

Over the past twenty years, Alfa Romeo has seen its European sales plummet. Where the brand could still celebrate in 2001 that it had sold more than 200,000 cars on an annual basis for the first time since 1990, in 2021 there were still about 25,000.

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The picture in the Netherlands is not much different. In the late 1990s, Alfa Romeo was approaching 10,000 cars annually, but by 2021 sales had shrunk to 173 units.

The first months of this year also did not look good for Alfa Romeo. Only 38 new Alfa Romeos were registered in the Netherlands in January and February. Even Bentley put 41 more cars on Dutch license plates in those months.

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New electric suv should boost Alfa Romeo sales again

New electric suv should boost Alfa Romeo sales again

Finally on the plug

The problem that always plays tricks on Alfa Romeo is the lack of models. That has only been reinforced in recent years with the disappearance of compact cars such as the MiTo and Giulietta.

 And no matter how well the Stelvio was received by the written press in 2016, the upper-mid-class sedan segment was already on the wane.

Moreover, some form of electrification was missing, so that business success also passed the nose of Alfa Romeo. That same problem eventually played tricks on the Stelvio SUV.

With the Tonale, the first completely new model in six years, those things have to be put right. First of all, it is a compact SUV, exactly of the size that is so successful in the Netherlands and in Europe.

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 Just look at the results that Volvo, for example, achieves with its XC40. In addition, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains are now finally available for the Alfa, so that the Tonale can be priced competitively in the Netherlands.

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New electric suv should boost Alfa Romeo sales again

All-electric future under Stellantis wings

Alfa Romeo is now a brand of mega-manufacturer Stellantis, giving it access to an even wider range of platforms and powertrains. This should result in the first fully electric Alfa Romeo in 2024. 

That car may be called Brennero , and it is not inconceivable that that model will share its technology with cars such as the Peugeot e-2008 and Opel Mokka-e.

The electric Alfa Romeo is also the prelude to the fully electric future of the Italian brand. From 2025, it only wants to sell electric cars.

One of these will be a large SUV , which will have to compete with cars like the BMW X5. It is also not excluded that Giulia will receive an all-electric successor . 

That model would then have to operate a segment higher, as a competitor of the future (and also electric) BMW i5 .

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