Selling a dream does not exclusively work for luxury articles, it can be used also for daily-life products. 1971 Alfa Romeo presented the Alfasud, a modern compact car, which should become another milestone in the company’s history, as it was its first car with front wheel drive and also became one of the most sold. This is remarkable as for purists the Alfasud is not a “real” Alfa, as it was manufactured in Sicily, not directly by Alfa Romeo itself, but in a joint venture between Alfa (90%) and another public company, Finmeccanica (10%).
The Alfasud was designed by Giorgetto Giugaro, known for his clear and practical lines. For example, after the Alfasud he designed its main competitor, the first version of the Volkswagen Golf. The whole project was developed by the Austrian automobile designer and engineer Rudolf Hruska, who combined beauty with practical utility. A fresh solution, which needed also a fresh engine, the Alfsud featured the company’s new boxer-engines. This heart of the car should outlive the Alfasud and stay in production until the ‘90s and last used in the Alfa 33.
Even if they company had an attractive model for the market, Alfa Romeo wanted to top it, so that the car not only should be presented at the ’71 Turin Motor Show, but there together with an unique sister-model, the Alfasud Caimano. The project to design this prototype went also to Giuagaro. The idea was to create an automotive dream with no possibility of production. The only limitation was that the Caimano had technically to be based on the given Alfasud technology. Doing so, the designer presented a prototype similar to Alfa’s earlier Iguana or Carabo; edgy futuristic design like from another planet. Only in opposite to these earlier examples, without the V8, but an ordinary 1,2L Boxer engine.
With this marketing strategy the company made it clear from the beginning that beside its origin the Alfasud was a 100% Alfa Romeo and that they had been proud of their creation. Nearly 900,000 sold units in eleven years had been the positive result.
- Henz, Patrick (2016): “Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Art & History”
- Henz, Patrick (2016): “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari”
- Pander, Juergen (2016): “Alfa Romeo Alfasud Caimano: Gib Gas!”