Alfa Romeo to launch one new model a year as it plans fast transition to all-electric line-up

French boss of Italian brand promises stability as the root to improved quality ratings

Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato with the new Tonale crossover

Alfa Romeo chief executive Jean-Pierre Imperato has confirmed one new model launch a year in an effort to revive the brand’s fortunes and the fastest transition yet to an all-electric line-up.

Confirming an upcoming all-electric Giulia, Imperato predicted a revival for saloon and hatchback formats in the future.

However, with repairing the brand’s poor reliability ratings a top priority, he says he will not be afraid to delay arrivals if things are not right.

He said last month he postponed the delivery of the Tonale in Australia and Japan as there was an issue with the supply of a microchip for the headlights.


“It does mean we will miss targets and we could have sent the cars and then sent on the chips by plane, but this is not the process we want,” he told The Irish Times.

“I want to kill this idea of, ‘Hey guys, we’re Italian, we’re south of Europe, we can reinterpret the process’. No, we are not. This is the best way to demonstrate [the new approach], to be very strict.”

He is fulsome in his praise for Italian creativity and responsiveness, but says the time has come to stick rigidly to process and not constantly adapt. “We don’t need to be changing strategy every day. We have a five-year plan and we stick to it. On the assembly line the process is in place so we stick to it.”

The charismatic French executive is credited with reviving the fortunes of Peugeot as its CEO from 2016, before moving to the Italian premium brand after the takeover of FCA by PSA, which created the new Stellantis Group.

He points to process improvements as the key to improving Alfa’s long sub-par quality ratings.

Initial unofficial reports suggest the quality focus is bearing fruit in terms of lower customer complaints and warranty costs.

While Alfa has hung much of its recent existence on legacy reputation and its heritage, Imparato said the brand would not build “restomods” – classic cars or replicas modified with modern tech – but would take styling cues from its past.

One new model launch a year between 2024 and 2030 is planned, with every new addition from 2025 being electric only. “We might be late to start, but our speed to transition from zero electric to zero emissions will be among the fastest,” he said.

Alfa Romeo Tonale

However, right now Tonale is an existential model. It will single-handedly cut Alfa’s current emissions by 40 per cent thanks in particular to the new plug-in hybrid version landing early next year.

A mid-sized premium crossover that’s designed to compete with the likes of the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3, it’s due to arrive in the next few weeks with a starting price in the region of €45,000 for the 1.5-litre, 160hp mild-hybrid petrol version.

Before the new, slightly larger all-electric Giulia in 2025, a limited edition mid-engined sports car could also be on the cards, a final hurrah before its all-electric future.

As to the decision to withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2023 season, Imparato said: “It is still our intention to stay in the world of motorsport, it’s in our DNA.” But he declined to say what form of competition this might take.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times