Stellantis To Slow-Selling Brands: Improve In The Next 10 Years, Or Face The Guillotine (Report)

Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Fiat (among others) are safe...for now

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (European model shown)

Stellantis is giving Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and other struggling brands 10 years to find sales success — or they may be dropped.

Honestly, few in the industry thought Stellantis would be so forgiving to slow-selling brands like Alfa Romeo, or Chrysler for that matter. A 10-year proclamation by company CEO Carlos Tavares was aimed at brands that are struggling here in America, as well as European marques like Lancia and DS as well.

Let’s focus on Alfa Romeo. Last year, the brand sold fewer than 5,000 vehicles in the U.S. That’s actually good news, as they increased their first quarter sales over 2020 by a sizable margin (just under 1,000 sales). Their best selling vehicle, as you’d expect, is the Stelvio crossover, by a significant margin. It made up a majority of Alfa’s sales, nearly hitting 11,000 units sold in North America.

Stellantis has made some seismic shifts lately, not least of which concerns the automaker dismantling its SRT performance team.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica
The Pacifica minivan props up most of Chrysler’s sales — with the overall brand comprising just two models.

Alfa Romeo’s quarterly sales are about 50,000 units per month behind BMW, and Chrysler is still just hanging on.

Here’s what Tavares said on some of Stellantis’ lagging brands:

“We’re giving each a chance, giving each a time window of 10 years and giving funding for 10 years to do a core model strategy. The CEOs need to be clear in brand promise, customers, targets and brand communications. If they succeed, great. Each brand is given the chance to do something different and appeal to customers.”

Tavares stated that the brand will move towards electrification over the next decade. Speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car Summit, he made the point: “In the past, lots of other car companies were willing to buy Alfa. In the eyes of those buyers, it has a great value. They are right. It has a great value.” As for DS and Lancia, they will have to seriously outperform expatiations in order to hit that 10-year success mark.

Alfa Romeo, DS and Lancia as well as American-bred marques like Chrysler have a decade to right the ship. Eventually, Stellantis will make the final decision about keeping or killing the brand. I have high hopes for Alfa Romeo, they have so much potential, and they build some amazing-to-drive vehicles. A decade is also a fairly wide target, and what we ultimately see could change dramatically — especially as the industry shifts toward electric vehicles.