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Alfa boss brands market share unsustainable

Date: 23 April 2010   |   Author:

Alfa Romeo MD Andrew Humberstone

Alfa Romeo's UK boss is promising a renewed attack on the fleet sector as he bids to move the brand on from what he calls an "unsustainable" 0.45% market share.

"I'm not chasing a specific market share in fleet, I want it to be consumer-driven," Andrew Humberstone told BusinessCar. "You can expect to see a continued increase in market share. With the introduction of new technology and new cars, there's something fundamentally wrong if we don't. Staying as a 0.45% market share player is unacceptable, the business is unsustainable."

Humberstone said the introduction of the new lower medium Giulietta, the replacement for the 147, later this year will be a big boost to the firm's fortunes. "If you look at the size of the C-segment, in order to be competitive you have to be in fleet, you can't be absent from it." The 147 has never found particular fleet favour, and only 99 were registered to fleet in 2009, and 342 in 2008.

Humberstone's fleet approach with the brand, and with Fiat, which is also under his control, has been to leave the fleet industry alone for two years since taking over in the UK, to "prove categorically" that the brand has got its house in order in terms of rental deals and RVs. He said he is now seeing bosses from the top seven leasing companies every three months.

"We're about to re-enter the fleet channel with deals that make sense - in the 70% of fleet channels that make sense," he said. "Not the rental channel - that is costly and doesn't make sense. It's about having the right product and I feel we do," he said, pinpointing the new Giulietta and the Multiair CO2-reducing engine technology recently launched on the supermini Mito.