Italian Government Upset Alfa Romeo ‘Milano’ Will Be Built in Poland


italian government upset alfa romeo milano will be built in poland

The Italian Minister for Business has criticized Stellantis for manufacturing the Alfa Romeo Milano outside of the country, suggesting that the automaker had likely violated the law.

Assembly is slated to take place at the Tychy plant in Poland. According to Reuters, that makes it the very first Alfa Romeo model to be produced entirely outside of Italy.

While I cannot pretend to understand Italian law, the nation has a long history of interesting sports cars and has more than earned the right of being proud of its automotive heritage. However, the country also allowed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to be sold to the French, resulting in Stellantis. As an American, I’m not exactly thrilled what the brand has in store for Dodge and Chrysler either. But those marquees have changed hands so many times that it doesn’t make much sense for me to get more than a little upset — and it certainly isn’t going to change anything.

Then again, the vehicle in question is likewise being marketed as overtly Italian. Stellantis even opted to name the vehicle after the city where Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910. That’d be like Ford or General Motors producing something called “The Detroit” and then having it built somewhere in Mexico.

“A car called Milano cannot be produced in Poland. This is forbidden by Italian law,” Italian Minister for Business and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso explained to the media on Thursday, citing legislation from 2003 that targets “Italian sounding” products that falsely claim to be Italian.

“This law stipulates that you cannot give indications that mislead consumers. So a car called Milano must be produced in Italy. Otherwise, it gives a misleading indication which is not allowed under Italian law,” he said.

From Reuters:

Urso’s complaint is the latest in a war of words between Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s nationalist government and the Franco-Italian automaker, as the two sides hold talks on a plan to boost domestic auto production to one million units.

The law mentioned by Urso says it is illegal to present a foreign-made product as coming from Italy. Typically, it has been invoked against food products, for example U.S.-made “parmesan” cheese resembling Italy’s “parmigiano”.

Stellantis has made no comment in regard to the Italian government’s criticisms. But CEO Carlos Tavares had previously stated that building the Milano in Poland would lower production costs and allow it to sell it at a lower price. Estimated to start at the U.S. equivalent of $32,000 in its cheapest format (which is honestly kind of pricey for such a small vehicle), an Italian-made version was estimated to retail closer to $42,500.

[Image: Alfa Romeo]

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