Communist regulations are a pain in the ass.
Although both Alfa Romeo and Maserati, especially the former, are finally receiving sorely needed new models, parent company FCA is now being forced to scale back production at the Italian factories building both brands. According to Automotive News Europe, Alfa Romeo and Maserati sales have failed to meet global expectations, and the blame can be put on one country in particular: China. It’s not that Chinese buyers dislike either brand, but the issue is with new Chinese import rules.
Basically, the Chinese government set new laws regarding relationships between dealers and carmakers as part of an effort to protect its domestic car brands. One of these regulations, banning automakers from imposing stock on dealerships, is making things particularly difficult. Production will be reduced for the Levante and Stelvios SUVs and Giulia sedan through either temporary factory shut downs or reduced work weeks, Italian unions have been informed. Sadly, both FCA and the Italian unions can’t do anything about this, at least for now. Looking at the shipment figures and it appears that FCA may have also overestimated Chinese demand, despite early enthusiasm.
For example, Alfa Romeo delivered 1,006 Stelvios to Chinese dealers in June, 2; 666 in July; and just 227 in August. The Maserati Levante used to have an average of 800 monthly units shipped in the first half of the year. In July and August, it was an average of just 350 units. So, will this trend continue? Who knows. FCA will likely adjust sales expectations for next year specifically for China in light of those new government-imposed rules.