Alfa Romeo has confirmed that its baby hatch, the Giulietta, will end production at the end of 2020.
While the car’s demise is no surprise, this is the first time that it has been confirmed by the company, with Alfa Romeo’s product planning head Fabio Migliavacca telling British title Autocar that the “Giulietta is expected to finish its life at the end of this year.”
With no replacement in sight, it’s a big moment for the Italian car maker, whose flawed but fabulous hatchbacks have endeared the iconic brand to generations of enthusiasts over the last 30 years.
Launched in 2010, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta replaced the 147 in the Alfa Romeo lineup and paired up with the cheaper MiTo hatch locally until the latter’s demise in 2018.
A recent rehash of Alfa’s much-touted five-year plan saw several new products axed in the face of falling sales and a global downturn in the automotive industry, so while the Giulietta will not be replaced like-for-like, there is a succession plan in place.
“The trend is to have SUVs in the C-segment, so the Tonale SUV will be the replacement for Giulietta,” confirmed Migliavacca.
The Tonale (above) is a small SUV crossover that’s designed to sit under the Stelvio, but it’s not especially new.
Built on top of FCA’s modular small 4x4 architecture that’s shared with the Jeep Renegade, the Tonale was shown off in concept form last March in Italy.
Given the relatively precarious position of the Alfa Romeo brand in a tough market, don’t expect a lot of money to be spent on the Tonale, though… it will inherit some elements of the Stelvio’s interior design language, while a mild hybrid system with the potential for an electric-only range of 50km is being touted as part of the drivetrain offerings.
FCA’s 1.4-litre and 2.4-litre four-cylinder engines are a good guess as to the Tonale’s powerplant options, while the car's underpinnings allow for front- or all-wheel-drive options.
Locally, Alfa Romeo has sold 35 Giuliettas so far in 2020. A local source acknowledged that the Giulietta was indeed nearing the end of its journey, but local stocks of the car would see the company through until the end of the year.
Our source would not be drawn on how the Tonale would fit into Australian plans, however.