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Alfa Romeo Tonale launch delayed after new CEO demands better performance

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An Alfa Romeo spokesman declined to comment on whether the Tonale is being revised and delayed. “We cannot give updates on this topic at this time,” the spokesman said.

The Tonale will be Alfa Romeo’s first new model since the Stelvio went into production at FCA’s Cassino plant in central Italy at the end of 2016.

The brand has not released annual global sales figures, but according to the FIMCISL metalworkers union, production of the Stelvio, Giulia and the Giulietta sedan, which was discontinued in late 2020, fell 9 percent to 53,422 units last year. The cars are built at Cassino in Italy.

In Europe, Alfa’s vehicle sales last year declined by a third to 35,503 units, of which 17,332 were Stelvios and 10,747 were Giulias, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. In the U.S., Alfa’s sales increased by 23 percent to 6,093 units last year, according to data from the Automotive News Data Center.

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Another SUV planned

Alfa’s lineup will get a further boost with the addition of a small SUV, which will have a full-electric version as well as combustion engine versions. It will be built at Stellantis’s plant in Tychy, Poland, alongside similar models for Jeep and Fiat using PSA’s CMP architecture. The Alfa version is due to arrive in 2023, completing a four-model range for Alfa that FCA CEO Mike Manley unveiled in October 2019.

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Alfa’s future seems secure under Stellantis despite the group’s wide portfolio of brands that include Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram in the U.S. and Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, Opel/Vauxhall, Fiat, Lancia and Maserati in Europe.

In January, during a news conference to introduce the new group, Tavares said that he recognizes “the high value for Stellantis of both the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.”

Tavares has tasked Imparato, who had a successful run as Peugeot CEO, with reviving Alfa Romeo sales and developing new joint models for Alfa, DS and Lancia.

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