Alfa Romeo Milano name dropped

* Alfa renames car * Just days before launch * Rumours: 147 replacement to be called Giulietta...

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What Car? Staff
30 Nov 2009 12:07 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Alfa Romeo has scrapped plans to name its 147 replacement the 'Milano', just days before the new car makes its debut at the Bologna motor show.

The company was forced to reconsider the name after the threat of protests from former Alfa workers in Milan, who argued that naming the new car after the city would be deeply insensitive as the marque's last ties with the area are being severed.

Alfa leaving Milan for Turin
Fiat Group, which owns Alfa, is currently moving the last of its remaining 230 Milan-based Alfa designers and engineers to the company's headquarters in Turin, a move intended to cut costs.

The relocation, which will be completed by February, will bring to an end Alfa Romeo's 99-year association with Milan, where the brand was founded.

The relationship was once so close that, until 1972, the Alfa Romeo badge incorporated the word 'Milano', and the red cross that it still carries is taken from Milan's coat of arms.

Embarrassingly for Alfa Romeo, publicity material for the new car had already been printed and will now be pulped.

It's rumoured that the new car is likely to be introduced carrying another name from Alfa's past - 'Giulietta'.