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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I realize this is too long to read, but I felt the need to get it out of my system, as well as document for posterity why Alfa Romeo had so much trouble reestablishing itself in the American market. Yet even at this length, I have left out many details and side trips concerning my attempts to order a car.

One of the main things I wanted to know after my wife informed me we would be purchasing at least one and perhaps two Giulias was when would this car be in our possession. What I found was a company that can create excellent commercials, a car that can impress every reviewer that touches one, include an amazing number of features for a great price, but has no clue what the term logistics refers to. I am not even sure they can spell it. I have found on the forum that others have the same question so here is my rough timeline.

We ordered the car on 17 February 2017. It is a 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti RWD Rosso Alfa exterior, black interior, and these options:

Red Calipers with White Script

Harmam Kardon Premium Audio

8.8 Radio with Navigation

High Performance Headlamps

Sunroof

Driver Assistance Dynamic Package

Driver Assistance Static Package

Lusso Light Wood Package

I received the following status code:

17 February – BA – Pending Order

The initial time estimate was 11 weeks to delivery.

At this point I begin emailing and calling the sales person every week and sometimes twice a week. Based on his responses and often lack of responses I suspect he viewed me as a major pain in the rear.

Nothing much was reported to me from 17 February until the middle of March. On 21 March he reported the following:

Of the six cars he had on order:

Two are at D1, but should be produced in March

One is at G which is trim

One is at JB which is the body vendor

Two have VINs

What status mine is, he has no clue.

Later I find that my code was - D1 – gateline: plant has sequenced the unit for production. It stayed in this code a few weeks.

On 30 March I found that the build sheet was online. No one told me this, I just discovered it by checking the link once or twice a day, every day.

On 2 April the sales person reported that the car has a VIN. The status code is now JB - shipped to body vendor.

On 5 April the sales person provided a shipping sheet that suggests the car will arrive in Houston on 22 April having left Italy on 2 April. Repeated attempts to identify and track the ship came to nothing. As to whether this sheet is correct, who knows as that would require the Italians to be able to spell logistics.

With the sales person becoming more and more distant, I learn that Alfa Romeo has a customer assistance call center. I begin to pester these people about once a week. In the first chat session with them on 19 April I learn the following:

Your vehicle has been built and is pending installation of additional equipment. This is a necessary step when additional features or optional equipment packages are added to the vehicle.

I ask, where is this work being done? They report that this is done in Italy.

Now if the car left Italy on 2 April, it is going to be a little tricky for it to still be in Italy on 19 April.

logistics – l o g i s t i c s – logistics

On 28 April I contacted Alfa Romeo chat once more. They report no change. They suggest I check back with them in “a few weeks”. Check back in a few weeks? Weeks? I ask how I escalate this. The call center agent insists that they are the ultimate authority on this matter, that they are the highest level of customer support, and that there is no one with Alfa Romeo that would know any more than they do. So just wait a few weeks and chat with us again. I inform them that they have just lost a customer. They do not much seem to care one way or the other about this. Meanwhile my wife brings me in off the ledge, which being only 18 inches from the ground will not matter much anyway.

In the mean time I have been pestering the sales person weekly as usual. His contention since 22 April is the car is in Houston.

To summarize to this point, the car was ordered, the car was built, and the car was stored somewhere in Italy or Houston waiting for something to be installed. No one really knows where it is.

Nothing much happens from mid April until mid May, other than my blood pressure going up constantly and my wife growing tired of my ranting and raving about Italians and logistics.

As part of my detective work since the car was ordered I checked daily one or more times for the build sheet and the window sticker. Day after day neither appears, then the build sheet appears, then the build sheet disappears after a few weeks, no window sticker shows up until late one night on 18 May right before I go off to bed, I think I might as well look again. As I sit there before the computer half awake and half asleep, what appears before me, the window sticker. The wife who I awaken to inform of this miraculous event, says – yes dear, how nice, go to sleep now. Sleep? How can you sleep? It is the window sticker, look I have it right here.

Things move fast now. The dealer calls to say the car will be there today or early tomorrow the 19th. Can I take delivery tomorrow at 2pm? I inform him that I can take delivery anytime of the day or night.

Of course there are more delays to wait through just to irritate me I am sure.

The dealer says how about 6pm instead of 2? Visions of a 90 mile drive across DFW during Friday rush hour traffic appear in my head. In addition, hail producing thunderstorms appear headed for DFW.

Next the dealer suggests Saturday the 20th instead. The weather is expected to be even worse at that point. I counter with them sending it in an enclosed trailer directly to me.

We agree at last, delivery at 9:30 am on the 20th via enclosed trailer.

On the 20th as 9:30 approaches, they call to suggest 11.

Then they say no trailer has arrived at their location, how about we drive it over. Drive? Not a chance. Wait, this may be the truck pulling in now they say.

Finally at 2:30 on 20 May 2017 a red car with black interior slowly backs out of a red and black enclosed trailer into the driveway to my house. After the driver leaves, I start the car and this gigantic smile appears.



3 months 3 days
 

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congrats! that was quite a read, makes our experience of seeing / buying it in less than 12 hours a breeze :) Now you must make up for all that lost time by enjoying it as much as you can.. I know you will
 

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Well, you certainly have more patience that I do. I had an order I placed in April and after hearing about all the logistical concerns as well as the fact that I would basically miss the summer I found something somewhat locally.

Congrats! Now grab a coffee/tea and enjoy a nice long drive.
 

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As part of my detective work since the car was ordered I checked daily one or more times for the build sheet and the window sticker. Day after day neither appears, then the build sheet appears, then the build sheet disappears after a few weeks, no window sticker shows up until late one night on 18 May right before I go off to bed, I think I might as well look again. As I sit there before the computer half awake and half asleep, what appears before me, the window sticker. The wife who I awaken to inform of this miraculous event, says – yes dear, how nice, go to sleep now. Sleep? How can you sleep? It is the window sticker, look I have it right here.
LOL!! You are exactly like me it's scary. When I was waiting on my Ti I checked the window sticker link far too frequently I think my company's IT might have tagged the website as illegal already. Not healthy at all, but man does the car make up for all of this. Congrats and enjoy!
 

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On 30 March I found that the build sheet was online. No one told me this, I just discovered it by checking the link once or twice a day, every day.
Hi, sorry if this information has already been posted elsewhere, but can you tell us how/where you found the build sheet? What "link" did you check regularly? Thanks.

And... congratulations on the new car! That's very exciting.
 
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I applaud all of you that have special ordered Giulias and have waited/are still waiting for months to get you vehicle. I am way too impatient (and I got lucky and found one equipped exactly as I'd like at a dealer back in Feb, before people really realized the cars were here for sale. Reading these forums and seeing how much fun (bugs and all) we are having driving our cars would even infuriate me more, waiting. But, as others have said, once it arrives and you get behind the wheel, that smile will appear!
 
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Congratulations on getting the car. The driving makes up for the massive frustration pretty quickly.

So I don't hate Alfa the way I did a few weeks ago, but I still think they're way too incompetent to succeed against BMW, Audi, etc. It's a shame, because they do make a wonderful car that I enjoy very much. I'd bet a lot of $$ that they will fail, though. It takes a lot more than a great car.
 

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Not intending to be disrespectful, but why would one special order a Giulia Ti?

When I do a nationwide search, I can find a car with 95%-100% of the options I want, and color combos. Some cars have frankly more options than I want, but at an extra cost of at most $1500-$1800.

I can get a car carrier to pick up almost anywhere for $750-900, or an airline ticket to go pick up myself for under $250 (one way).

My point being, why put yourself through this much mental distress when you can get a car practically immedietely? My sanity is worth that extra $1000-$2000, even if I'm paying for options I don't necessarily want.

I've bought 4 cars from out of state dealers over past 10 years and never had a problem. Frankly more enjoyable than dealing locally.

And it's not like buying at a local dealer is better, as the warranty service can be performed at any Alfa dealer, regardless as to where originally bought.
 

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Not intending to be disrespectful, but why would one special order a Giulia Ti?

When I do a nationwide search, I can find a car with 95%-100% of the options I want, and color combos. Some cars have frankly more options than I want, but at an extra cost of at most $1500-$1800.
BlueGiul: 3 months ago there wasn't much inventory. No leather interior option, no performance packages, very few tan interiors. I think it made perfect sense to custom order back in Feb or March.
 

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Congrats on the car. I ordered mine two weeks ago - and can't wait to get it. Go enjoy yours and I will think of you having fun driving while I wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Not intending to be disrespectful, but why would one special order a Giulia Ti?

When I do a nationwide search, I can find a car with 95%-100% of the options I want, and color combos. Some cars have frankly more options than I want, but at an extra cost of at most $1500-$1800.

I can get a car carrier to pick up almost anywhere for $750-900, or an airline ticket to go pick up myself for under $250 (one way).

My point being, why put yourself through this much mental distress when you can get a car practically immedietely? My sanity is worth that extra $1000-$2000, even if I'm paying for options I don't necessarily want.

I've bought 4 cars from out of state dealers over past 10 years and never had a problem. Frankly more enjoyable than dealing locally.

And it's not like buying at a local dealer is better, as the warranty service can be performed at any Alfa dealer, regardless as to where originally bought.
The stock was very limited in January and February when we were looking for the car. In addition, the process was new. I assumed that it would work like it did for other cars I have ordered. As we have seen it did not. All of this was unknowable at the time.

I was not and am not much irritated at the process as I am about the lack of customer support and the idiot answers I received. The basic problem I had was this; you can beat me, you can say mean things about my mother, but you had better not ignore me. Respond to me in a timely manner, provide current and accurate information. Then if it takes six months, I am fine, as long as I know why. Keep me informed.

As to buying one off the lot, there were options I could not find that I wanted. In particular the higher powered headlights. I live in a rural area with tight roads and a lot of livestock. The color was also a problem. Plenty of tri-coat, little of the standard red.

Lastly, I am getting older, I have a fairly high level of income, I have several advanced degrees, I have little tolerance for idiots, I am used to a high level of service, and I am a pain in the rear due to being spoiled at other dealerships. In short, I expect the well oiled machine that is Chik Fil A, I too often receive KFC level service.
 

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I special ordered a Ford Focus that was made in a plant in Michigan about 15 miles from my house (Wayne Assembly) and it took 3 months...They never had much information about what was going on until the car arrived. I don't know what that says about Alfa Romeo, but yeah...
 

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Dude, nice story. I feel your pain. But I have to admit, with it only being 3 to 4 months in the end it doesn't sound so bad. That's easy to say I know. But it makes me feel better about placing my order. I want a couple less popular items like wheels and interior. Can you post some pics of your interior? I think the Quads should have had more options. Or maybe I can take mine to the Ferrari dealership and get a custom interior? ... and wait another YEAR! ;)
 

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Here's what I mean. Can't wait to see yours :D
 

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