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Alfa Romeo set to get off the canvas and into the Australian sales fight against Audi, BMW, Genesis and Mercedes-Benz

The sleek Tonale small SUV is scheduled to arrive here early in 2023.

Could Alfa Romeo become a genuine contender in Australia again? Stellantis Australia and NZ managing director Kevin Flynn has confirmed the company’s commitment to building the Alfa Romeo brand’s profile and sales in Australia.

So far in 2022 Alfa sales are close to an all time low, the famous Italian marque averaging less than 50 registrations per month nationally across its two-model range.

But speaking to CarsGuide at the local launch of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Mr Flynn said, “Step one is to understand the full business and create the right future for the prosperity of Alfa Romeo. That’s where my priorities are.”

After five years in market, demand for the Giulia sedan has softened, although a facelift is likely in 2023. While its Stelvio mid-size SUV cousin sells in modest numbers compared to established premium competitors. 

But with the sleek Tonale small SUV, including a mild-hybrid variant, scheduled to arrive here early in 2023, and the brand's global CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato, setting the bar high for future models, the prospects for an Alfa resurgence are brighter than they have been for some time.

“I want to be at the height of Lexus. I am driven by quality," Mr Imparato says. "And it is not only a question of product. It is as well a question of customer satisfaction. I don't want you to be satisfied. I want you to be delighted.”

Alfa Romeo Australia closed its doors as a direct factory subsidiary in 1992, with The Ateco Group reestablishing import and distribution in 1997.

In 2012, on the back of solid sales achieved under Ateco’s control, Chrysler Australia Group (now Stellantis) took the business back in-house. And Mr Imparato recognises the contribution of long-serving dealers.

“Because these (dealers) in Australia are supporting us for years, and only for passion. Only because they love Alfa Romeo. Not for business - let me be clear. I have one way for Alfa Romeo, up.”

This isn’t the first time an Aussie ‘Alfa revival’ has been suggested, but with the weight of what is now the world’s fourth-largest car company behind it, maybe this time it’s a real possibility.