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Remember the Alfa Romeo Milano? Now it’s the Alfa Romeo Junior

Alfa’s CEO says the Junior name is “completely natural” in rapid branding about-turn for new small SUV

Alfa Romeo Junior - front static

The launch of Alfa Romeo’s new small SUV hasn’t gone particularly smoothly. The ‘Milano’ was only revealed last week, but has now been hastily renamed ‘Junior’. Apparently, legal requirements were not met for the Milano name, causing “an Italian government official” to step in. 

The Alfa Romeo Junior will be identical to the Milano in all but name. In a statement, Alfa Romeo said: “Despite Alfa Romeo believing that the name meets all legal requirements, and that there are issues much more important than the name of a new car, Alfa Romeo has decided to change it from Milano to Junior in the spirit of promoting mutual understanding.” 

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The Italian firm will build the Junior in Poland, rather than in its home city of Milan. This is the reason the controversy is believed to have started; Adolfo Urso, Italy’s industry minister, said: “A car called Milano cannot be produced in Poland. This is forbidden by Italian law," Urso refers to legislation from 2003 that targets "Italian sounding" products that falsely claim to be Italian. 

Alfa Romeo 'Junior' branding

Alfa Romeo’s CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato remained upbeat on the issue, however: “The choice of the name Junior is completely natural, as it is strongly linked to the history of the brand” – referring to the iconic 1966 GT 1300 Junior. 

“We decided to change the name, even though we know that we are not required to do so, because we want to preserve the positive emotion that our products have always generated and avoid any type of controversy,” Imparato said.

Everything else about Alfa’s baby SUV will remain unchanged. It’ll use the same platform as before, and come with a choice of hybrid or full-electric powertrains. First cars are expected later this year.

What do you think of the Alfa's new name? Tell us in the comments section below...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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