Advertisement

Alfa Romeo MiTo hatch facing the axe

Sergio Marchionne says MiTo hatch’s future looks bleak, though a new small crossover could rescue the badge

Alfa Romeo Mito 2016 1

The future of the Alfa Romeo MiTo hangs in the balance, with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne revealing at the Geneva Motor Show that a change of direction was possible for the car.

More will become clear when the brand’s new strategy is revealed at a presentation on 1 June, but it’s already evident that the car will not continue in its current form.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Best hatchbacks on sale 2018

“If there is a MiTo [in future] I don’t think it will be in the [current] shape,” said Marchionne. “The market has shrunk – two-door B segment hatchbacks is a very shrinking market.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta vs SEAT Leon vs Kia Cee'd - Giulietta front tracking

“It’s got a limited practicality so we have to be careful.”

Alfa Romeo MiTo SUV?

With SUV sales exploding, one possibility is that the MiTo nameplate could be transferred to a small crossover.

Alfa Romeo is focused on delivering more SUVs instead of replacements for the Giulietta and MiTo, while the firm’s boss, Reid Bigland, even suggesting last year that those models could be dropped altogether.

This tallies with current trends in the market, although Alfa’s chief technical officer, Roberto Fedeli, has since hinted that a replacement for the Giulietta hatch remains on the cards.

Nonetheless, the success of the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV have carved out a new identity for the Italian brand, and models such as the Giulietta and MiTo don’t fit the new mould according to Bigland. “They’re still selling, but they’re very Euro-centric; we don’t sell them in the US and we won’t roll them into China,” Bigland said.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

“The new Alfa is defined by the 4C, Stelvio and Giulia; that’s what we’re focusing on,” he added. “The Giulietta and MiTo are two very good cars but they’re not at that same level of Giulia and Stelvio – and the benchmark we have set at Alfa is much more consistent with the Giulia and Stelvio.”

Alfa’s focus for new models will also shift from Europe to Asia and North America, where the big volume markets are SUVs and crossovers. “For a new Alfa going forward, our lens is less on Europe, more on the entire world,” Bigland stated. “Certainly in China and North America the small compact car segments [where the Giulietta and MiTo would compete] are the smallest segments. Small compact cars in those markets are very difficult proposition right now.”

Bigland added that Alfa is focusing on the biggest growth market - SUVs - and said buyers “shouldn’t be surprised to see something from Alfa Romeo in the largest markets”. That’s a thinly veiled reference to a larger SUV that’s believed to be in the pipeline. It will use architecture from the Maserati Levante and sit above the Stelvio in the line-up.

Are you happy to see Alfa put increasing focus on SUVs? Let us know in the comments...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit Geneva Motor Show
Geneva Motor Show

Geneva Motor Show

Welcome to our Geneva Motor Show hub page, scroll down for all our Geneva content...
28 Feb 2020
Visit Alfa Romeo axes sports cars in favour of SUVs
Alfa Romeo 2020 Strategy
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo axes sports cars in favour of SUVs

The Italian manufacturer has abandoned its planned 8C supercar and GTV sports car projects, focussing instead on a pair of new SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit New baby Alfa Romeo SUV to target Nissan Juke and Audi Q2
Alfa Romeo baby SUV - front (watermarked)
Alfa Romeo

New baby Alfa Romeo SUV to target Nissan Juke and Audi Q2

Alfa Romeo’s third SUV will be available with petrol and all-electric powertrains, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
23 Jan 2020
Visit New 2020 Alfa Romeo Tonale: leaked images and launch date
Alfa Romeo Tonale - Geneva front
Alfa Romeo

New 2020 Alfa Romeo Tonale: leaked images and launch date

Alfa Romeo’s new Tonale compact SUV will go on sale late next year, with these leaked images previewing the production model’s styling
4 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit New 2021 Mercedes SL to be developed by AMG with 2+2 layout
Mercedes SL

New 2021 Mercedes SL to be developed by AMG with 2+2 layout

The new Mercedes SL roadster will return with a fabric roof and will share tech with the AMG GT sports car. Our exclusive images preview how it could …
29 May 2020
Visit New Ford tech kills coronavirus by heating cars to 56 degrees Celsius 
News

New Ford tech kills coronavirus by heating cars to 56 degrees Celsius 

Ford’s “heated software enhancement” system designed for American police cars is said to reduce viral concentration “by greater than 99 percent”.
27 May 2020
Visit New facelifted BMW 5 Series takes aim at Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class
BMW 5 Series

New facelifted BMW 5 Series takes aim at Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class

The BMW 5 Series has been updated with styling and efficiency tweaks, while a new 545e performance plug-in model joins the line-up
27 May 2020