Alfa Romeo changes name of first EV after row with Italian govt

DUBLIN: Alfa Romeo is changing the name of its first electric vehicle from "Milano" to "Junior", after legal threats from the Italian government over the company's decision to make the car in Poland.

Alfa Romeo parent company Stellantis announced last week that the EV would be called Alfa Romeo Milano after the city where the Italian carmaker was founded in 1910.

But the country's government then warned that to do so could be against the law, with Industry Minister Adolfo Urso adamant that "a car called Milano must be produced in Italy."

"Despite Alfa Romeo believing that the name met all legal requirements and that there are issues much more important than the name of a new car, Alfa Romeo has decided to change it from 'Milano' to 'Alfa Romeo Junior' in the spirit of promoting mutual understanding," Stellantis said in a statement on Monday.

As Italian as pasta, pizza and Paolo Maldini, Alfa Romeo is one of the car-mad country's most recognisable brands. The Junior is set to be the first Alfa Romeo to be made entirely outside Italy.

Stellantis, a French-Italian conglomerate that owns dozens of household-name car brands, including Fiat, Jeep, Maserati and Opel, is manufacturing Junior at its factory in Tychy, Poland, where production costs less than in Italy, meaning it could potentially offer a cheaper electric car to consumers and better-compete with increasingly-dominant low-cost Chinese EVs.
Autos Alfa Romeo