Alfa is promising a clutch of new models that will help it double its UK sales in just two years.
The company is predicting sales of 7500 Alfas here this year - its first annual rise in sales in more than a decade - but aims to sell 15,000 models a year by 2010.
Alfa UK's managing director, Christopher Nicoll, hopes the arrival of the Alfa Junior small car and the 147 replacement, which is tipped to be called the 149, will boost sales significantly.
An on-road focused 4x4 is tipped to follow in 2010, taking annual UK sales to 15,000 vehicles.
'Sure, these are still small numbers relative to the market, but when you have had a trend of declining sales for so long, it's significant,' said Nicoll. 'There's no quick fix in situations like this – that's why we have a three-year plan to double sales.'
How Alfa turned its sales around
Nicoll has attributed the bulk of the turnaround to an improved dealer network, which has more than halved in size during his 18 months in charge of the company but which is now growing again.
'We took the view that we didn't want a dealership in an area just because there was a possibility of having one,' he said. 'The dealership must be right for the brand, and if the opportunity hasn't been right we haven't been afraid to say no.'
Nicoll has now set the target of changing perceptions about the residual values and reliability of Alfa Romeos. He believes that choosing the right dealers, resisting offering big discounts and managing used cars are key to achieving this.
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