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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Alfa lost a sale from me due to the limited interior colour options now available. I was fired up to buy a new Veloce but instead bought a lightly used 2020 so I could get the tan interior. Here in Australia at least our colour options are now extremely limited, which I suspect is putting some prospective customers off.
See, this distorts the problem. Your problem was color and we can all agree limitations exist. However, you already liked the car, so much so, that you were willing to risk your ownership experience with a used car.

You’re already an Alfista, and no we don’t want to lose you, but again the problem is converting new customers from the competition.

Alfa doesn’t lose comparison articles due to a lack of color choices. They lose due to reliability fears, small interior space, poor dealer access or some other item that BMW does better (actual or perceived).
 
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I know you want customer orders, but the options catalogue is based on what sells in volume. They can’t stock expensive parts for 3 cars a year. So, it is still heavily based on dealer orders, which are bland.

If your idea doesn’t double sales, what was the point? 18k to 36k could be worth talking about. 18k to 19k could be a waste of money.

Your argument is that sales are being lost due to a lack of options. The major option losses people cry about are colors (in/out). Again, I don’t think people are cross shopping the 3 series and buying it bc it has more color options. There’s more to fix before customizable options.
No, the cancellation of options, in this case, appears to be because of a perceived cost savings initiative, though the only folks who really know work for Alfa. You're guessing at the possible sales effect, but what would it hurt to give it a try since the tooling already exists? What makes no sense to me is a wholesale cutting back on customer choices. It's a move suggesting you're going out of business.
Look at cars like the Corvette C8, where they've followed the Porsche example and offer many more options and combinations than on the C7.You can do that with enthusiast cars and Alfas also fit that description.
 

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See, this distorts the problem. Your problem was color and we can all agree limitations exist. However, you already liked the car, so much so, that you were willing to risk your ownership experience with a used car.

You’re already an Alfista, and no we don’t want to lose you, but again the problem is converting new customers from the competition.

Alfa doesn’t lose comparison articles due to a lack of color choices. They lose due to reliability fears, small interior space, poor dealer access or some other item that BMW does better (actual or perceived).
No one on this forum discounts the importance of vehicle reliability perception or poor dealer access to Alfa, but it's almost like the company is giving up on the market. When times are tough and/or you're converting to an entirely different powertrain technology and can't afford to do that and keep upgrading current product you need to do something to keep sales alive. OBTW, Giulia/Stelvio interior space is consistent with the competitive set.
 

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So that's roughly $57,000 USD. And only 15 available. Wonder what the dealer markup will be on those babies?
 
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See, this distorts the problem. Your problem was color and we can all agree limitations exist. However, you already liked the car, so much so, that you were willing to risk your ownership experience with a used car.

You’re already an Alfista, and no we don’t want to lose you, but again the problem is converting new customers from the competition.

Alfa doesn’t lose comparison articles due to a lack of color choices. They lose due to reliability fears, small interior space, poor dealer access or some other item that BMW does better (actual or perceived).
You're positioning this as an either/or. Either customers are staying away because of limited colour/trim options OR they're staying away because of perceived reliability, dealer network, less interior space. However I think ALL those things are true - it doesn't have to be an either/or.

Though I guess the real question is whether the savings from reduced complexity are worth the sales they lose as a result (or vice versa: would the cost and complexity of increased choice be worth the marginal sales uptick). I do think that a marque which is predicated on being characterful and unique does not particularly benefit from a restrictive set of choices - especially when some of the historic options (eg a tan leather interior) are really classic Alfa options.

In my case, I'm buying the car as an indulgence, and to my eyes it's just much more beautiful and characterful in options other than the anonymous black leather interior. No point shelling out for an indulgence which you're always wistfully going to look at and think 'if only'. That sort of emotive decision making is exactly what Alfa positions itself as catering to, so when the beancounters really strip choice down to a minimum then they're placing jarring reality checks in the way of that emotional connection - which is not smart IMHO.
 

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So that's roughly $57,000 USD. And only 15 available. Wonder what the dealer markup will be on those babies?
that's bargain imho as my 2020 Carbon costs over $60k MSRP altho i paid nowhere near that price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
No, the cancellation of options, in this case, appears to be because of a perceived cost savings initiative, though the only folks who really know work for Alfa. You're guessing at the possible sales effect, but what would it hurt to give it a try since the tooling already exists? What makes no sense to me is a wholesale cutting back on customer choices. It's a move suggesting you're going out of business.
Look at cars like the Corvette C8, where they've followed the Porsche example and offer many more options and combinations than on the C7.You can do that with enthusiast cars and Alfas also fit that description.
Since they are unable to increase sales, they need to increase their margins. That is either done by raising ASP or lowing costs. Simplifying the ordering process allows them to better control costs, which we have seen, has increased profits.

"We started by making the brand profitable. By the end of the first half of 2021, Alfa Romeo was already proudly making a positive contribution to the Stellantis balance sheet. This target was achieved through efficient management of pricing power and cost efficiency, a first milestone on the way to building for the future in a credible way" (Imparato).

I am not against an array of exciting colors, but I understand their reasoning. If I had a Verde Montreal exterior, I would want a tan interior.

Corvette's are sold out and sell for a huge profit. They have a built in customer base since the 60s. My Father has owned 3 in his life, currently a '10 Grand Sport 6MT. He's been to the factory numerous times, attends racing events and is active in their community. It's a different animal compared to Alfa in terms of sales/volume/size of customer base.

No one on this forum discounts the importance of vehicle reliability perception or poor dealer access to Alfa, but it's almost like the company is giving up on the market. When times are tough and/or you're converting to an entirely different powertrain technology and can't afford to do that and keep upgrading current product you need to do something to keep sales alive. OBTW, Giulia/Stelvio interior space is consistent with the competitive set.
Alfa USA is not spending $ on the STLA-EV project. That is Stellantis with some inputs from Alfa Italy. Alfa USA, in the current climate + their lackluster past decade, need to retreat, regroup, increase margins and better explain to JP and Tavares why they should still be here. They can't just go for broke and offer everything a few enthusiasts want and then go bankrupt. The masses want black interior with black, white or silver exterior. That is why dealers order it...it sells, quickly (relative to AR's average days on the lot).
You're positioning this as an either/or. Either customers are staying away because of limited colour/trim options OR they're staying away because of perceived reliability, dealer network, less interior space. However I think ALL those things are true - it doesn't have to be an either/or.

Though I guess the real question is whether the savings from reduced complexity are worth the sales they lose as a result (or vice versa: would the cost and complexity of increased choice be worth the marginal sales uptick). I do think that a marque which is predicated on being characterful and unique does not particularly benefit from a restrictive set of choices - especially when some of the historic options (eg a tan leather interior) are really classic Alfa options.

In my case, I'm buying the car as an indulgence, and to my eyes it's just much more beautiful and characterful in options other than the anonymous black leather interior. No point shelling out for an indulgence which you're always wistfully going to look at and think 'if only'. That sort of emotive decision making is exactly what Alfa positions itself as catering to, so when the beancounters really strip choice down to a minimum then they're placing jarring reality checks in the way of that emotional connection - which is not smart IMHO.
They are not really losing sales (besides a lack of production/2022 stuff). They sell basically the same number of cars each year (see below).

Dealers order bland combinations. Most sales are not custom orders. What they are doing is reducing costs, simplifying the manufacturing process AND, most importantly, increasing the buyer's chance that a car is actually available on the lot to be purchased. Too much customization means it is nearly impossible to find the features you want. When you can't find it easily, and BMW has it on their lot down the road...you buy the BMW.

As of March 2022: Alfa Romeo Sales Figures – US Market
Font Rectangle Screenshot Parallel Number
 

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So that's roughly $57,000 USD. And only 15 available. Wonder what the dealer markup will be on those babies?
That's a bargain imho as my 2020 Carbon costs over $60k MSRP although i paid nowhere near that price.
I wonder how many of them will sit on dealer lots for months only to be sold for bargain prices.

I'm one of those lost Alfa new car sales (which would have been my third Giulia). Maybe I'll get a 2024 or 2025 (if there is such a thing) if the offering is desirable to me.
 
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Since they are unable to increase sales, they need to increase their margins. That is either done by raising ASP or lowing costs. Simplifying the ordering process allows them to better control costs, which we have seen, has increased profits.

"We started by making the brand profitable. By the end of the first half of 2021, Alfa Romeo was already proudly making a positive contribution to the Stellantis balance sheet. This target was achieved through efficient management of pricing power and cost efficiency, a first milestone on the way to building for the future in a credible way" (Imparato).

I am not against an array of exciting colors, but I understand their reasoning. If I had a Verde Montreal exterior, I would want a tan interior.

Corvette's are sold out and sell for a huge profit. They have a built in customer base since the 60s. My Father has owned 3 in his life, currently a '10 Grand Sport 6MT. He's been to the factory numerous times, attends racing events and is active in their community. It's a different animal compared to Alfa in terms of sales/volume/size of customer base.


Alfa USA is not spending $ on the STLA-EV project. That is Stellantis with some inputs from Alfa Italy. Alfa USA, in the current climate + their lackluster past decade, need to retreat, regroup, increase margins and better explain to JP and Tavares why they should still be here. They can't just go for broke and offer everything a few enthusiasts want and then go bankrupt. The masses want black interior with black, white or silver exterior. That is why dealers order it...it sells, quickly (relative to AR's average days on the lot).

They are not really losing sales (besides a lack of production/2022 stuff). They sell basically the same number of cars each year (see below).

Dealers order bland combinations. Most sales are not custom orders. What they are doing is reducing costs, simplifying the manufacturing process AND, most importantly, increasing the buyer's chance that a car is actually available on the lot to be purchased. Too much customization means it is nearly impossible to find the features you want. When you can't find it easily, and BMW has it on their lot down the road...you buy the BMW.

As of March 2022: Alfa Romeo Sales Figures – US Market
View attachment 128450
Simply put, we disagree.
 

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No, the cancellation of options, in this case, appears to be because of a perceived cost savings initiative, though the only folks who really know work for Alfa. You're guessing at the possible sales effect, but what would it hurt to give it a try since the tooling already exists? What makes no sense to me is a wholesale cutting back on customer choices. It's a move suggesting you're going out of business.
I worked at a large company for about 15 years, and our division head managed to stay in his position through multiple different upper management by announcing a major change/restructuring right after new management came. When I got there, they had management structure A. After a few years and a new executive team, they switched to management structure B. After a few years and another change in upper management, they changed back to management structure A. The point of all these changes was not to increase productivity, but to give an impression to our division leaders boss that he was doing something different so that he would not be fired.

I get the sense that limiting the available options is along the same lines. How much more really was it to stock two or three different colors interior trim pieces, or different color calipers? If it did cost more, why not charge extra for the tan seats with tan dash to begin with? I was planning on buying another Giulia before production ended, but none of the current color combos/options are more desirable to me than my current car. Hopefully they will come back even as a special edition before production ends.
 

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I get the sense that limiting the available options is along the same lines. How much more really was it to stock two or three different colors interior trim pieces, or different color calipers? If it did cost more, why not charge extra for the tan seats with tan dash to begin with? I was planning on buying another Giulia before production ended, but none of the current color combos/options are more desirable to me than my current car. Hopefully they will come back even as a special edition before production ends.
Welcome to JIT manufacturing, where they actually have a bare minimum of any components in stock. So yes, it can quickly become cost prohibitive, especially on a low volume car that's not very high margin to begin with.

And it's more than just charging extra. It means having a source parts partner manufacture that different part. And yes, a different color is a different part.

I agree with you on organization restructures. 99% it's a waste of time. But your analogy is really so far off from JIT manufacturing you are not just comparing apples to oranges, but apples to beef.
 
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Welcome to JIT manufacturing, where they actually have a bare minimum of any components in stock. So yes, it can quickly become cost prohibitive, especially on a low volume car that's not very high margin to begin with.

And it's more than just charging extra. It means having a source parts partner manufacture that different part. And yes, a different color is a different part.

I agree with you on organization restructures. 99% it's a waste of time. But your analogy is really so far off from JIT manufacturing you are not just comparing apples to oranges, but apples to beef.
BS, Biscione. I worked for an OEM for many years and part of that time I created the options listing for the brands I worked on. Once the parts are tooled and the business is placed with sources it's no big deal to offer them up to consumers. The assembly line workers pull parts from this bin versus that one. The fact that the Alfas are low-volume cars helps this happen and plays to the customers of these admittedly "enthusiast" cars. Give the buyers what they want.
 

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BS, Biscione. I worked for an OEM for many years and part of that time I created the options listing for the brands I worked on. Once the parts are tooled and the business is placed with sources it's no big deal to offer them up to consumers. The assembly line workers pull parts from this bin versus that one. The fact that the Alfas are low-volume cars helps this happen and plays to the customers of these admittedly "enthusiast" cars. Give the buyers what they want.
Parts such as seats, instrument panels, door trim, and fascias are also often sequenced, so no “bin picking” is required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I am looking forward to 2022 sales figures. Are they drastically lower due to the reduction in options or are they on par, as always (with an expectation of 2022 pandemic sales issues).
 

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I don't get it. They release so many different editions of the 2.0 but all the same power. Why not offer a tune and release something with 300+ HP. Wouldn't cost them much money at all, and they could charge way more for it 🤦🏻‍♂️

This isn't 90s Japan where every car was capped at 276
 

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I don't get it. They release so many different editions of the 2.0 but all the same power. Why not offer a tune and release something with 300+ HP. Wouldn't cost them much money at all, and they could charge way more for it 🤦🏻‍♂️

This isn't 90s Japan where every car was capped at 276
It isn't that simple. Manufacturers have to go through extensive calibration, durability and emissions testing to offer a new power output on a given powertrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I don't get it. They release so many different editions of the 2.0 but all the same power. Why not offer a tune and release something with 300+ HP. Wouldn't cost them much money at all, and they could charge way more for it 🤦🏻‍♂️

This isn't 90s Japan where every car was capped at 276
As you can see from the aftermarket, it’s just about impossible to tune for more. They would need a new turbo, which would kill MPG, and perhaps not even fit. Plus it is “best in class” 0-60, so there’s no need from a magazine racing standpoint. Again, the car doesn’t lose due to performance or driving characteristics (besides maybe blind spots lol).
 
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You're positioning this as an either/or. Either customers are staying away because of limited colour/trim options OR they're staying away because of perceived reliability, dealer network, less interior space. However I think ALL those things are true - it doesn't have to be an either/or.

Though I guess the real question is whether the savings from reduced complexity are worth the sales they lose as a result (or vice versa: would the cost and complexity of increased choice be worth the marginal sales uptick). I do think that a marque which is predicated on being characterful and unique does not particularly benefit from a restrictive set of choices - especially when some of the historic options (eg a tan leather interior) are really classic Alfa options.

In my case, I'm buying the car as an indulgence, and to my eyes it's just much more beautiful and characterful in options other than the anonymous black leather interior. No point shelling out for an indulgence which you're always wistfully going to look at and think 'if only'. That sort of emotive decision making is exactly what Alfa positions itself as catering to, so when the beancounters really strip choice down to a minimum then they're placing jarring reality checks in the way of that emotional connection - which is not smart IMHO.
If I’m going to spend 90k on a car, it’s gonna be exact.y what I want. Why in the world would I spend that much and sacrifice some options I see as important to me? Alfa is making me look at their cousin or whatever, Maserati grecale because I can get a (yet to be determined) vehicle specd out how I like. No lack of options there like yellow calipers, better and updated infotainment, a bit more powerful engine (v6) ventilated front seats, etc, etc. can’t get any of those options on a giulia or stelvio now or anymore. Seems like to me they are focusing on Maserati as I have said for a year or more now. It’s like they don’t care about Alfa, which makes me sad, because I really want a stelvio qv but if I can’t get what I want, I won’t be getting one.
 
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