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Alfa Romeo Milano changes name: it becomes Junior

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Alfa Romeo Milano changes name: it becomes Junior

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Changing a car’s name due to political controversy had never been seen before. Sensational Alfa Romeo Milano becomes Junior.
Alfa Romeo, not without bitterness on the part of CEO Jean-Philippe Learned and his staff, has therefore decided to change the name Milano, already known for months, to its new model built in Poland and which has become the subject of a controversy triggered by the business minister and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso.
It all started after the global presentation of Alfa Romeo’s new compact SUV, when Minister Urso, who criticized Stellantis for choosing an Italian name for the vehicle, which will be produced abroad, stating that the company’s decision violates Italian law. The Milano is produced at Stellantis’ Tychy plant in Poland, and is the first Alfa Romeo to be made entirely outside of Italy. It should be remembered that only with the second generation Panda, which was supposed to be called Gingo, was the name changed close to the launch due to a question of names registered with Renault due to the similarity with Twingo

Alfa Milano changes name

«A car called Milano cannot be produced in Poland. This is prohibited by law,” Urso said, referring to 2003 legislation that targets “Italian-sounding” products that falsely claim to be Italian. «This law establishes that information cannot be given that misleads consumers. So a car called Milano must be produced in Italy. Otherwise, it gives a misleading indication which is not permitted by Italian law.”

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Alfa Romeo Milano, all the official photos

Photogallery 15 photos

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Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares did not comment and simply reiterated that the production of the SUV in Poland rather than in Italy will allow the retail price to be reduced by 10,000 euros. Milano is the only Alfa Romeo model set for production outside of Italy. Tavares has in fact confirmed that the new generations of the Stelvio SUV and the Giulia sedan will continue to be built in Cassino.

Goodbye Alfa Romeo Milano

The comment instead came from Jean-Philippe Learnato, CEO of Alfa Romeo: “We are perfectly aware that this episode will remain engraved in the history of the Brand. It’s a great responsibility but at the same time it’s an exciting moment. The choice of the new name Junior is completely natural, being strongly linked to the history of the brand and having been among our favorites and among the public’s favorites since the beginning. As a team we choose once again to make our passion available to the Brand, to give priority to the product and customers. We decide to change, even though we know that we are not obliged to do so, because we want to preserve the positive emotions that our products have always generated and avoid any type of controversy.

The attention paid these days to our new sports compact is something unique, with an unprecedented number of accesses to the online configurator, which caused the website to crash for a few hours.” Supporting Minister Urso was the Union for the Defense of Consumers (Udicon) in the person of its president Martina Donini: «Alfa Romeo, a brand that evokes Italian history and culture, finds itself at the center of a debate which touches the heart of our country’s industrial identity. The decision to name a car with the name of an Italian city, a symbol of style and design, despite producing it abroad, raises important questions relating to the concept of “Italian sounding”, a phenomenon known in the agri-food sector, but which now seems is also extending to the automotive industry. Nobody tolerates that a wine produced abroad can be sold as Italian. This principle cannot be limited to food, but must concern all sectors. Marketing must be transparent. We wonder what would happen in terms of sales if the car that was the subject of controversy was rebranded as “Stellantis Tychy”» explains Donini.

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