There’s nothing quite like an Alfa Romeo. Park one in your driveway and the neighbourhood instantly becomes that teeny bit more glamorous. Climb in one and prepare to be seduced by the voluptuous, Italianate dashboard. Drive off in one and experience a little slice of Latin exotica. Marketing hype? Perhaps, but there’s no denying that inherent in every Alfa Romeo is that indefinable something; that warm glow of pride and appreciation you feel every time you lift up the garage door and catch a glimpse of that unmistakable badge.
Well, in celebration of all that is Alfa Romeo, South Africa will play host to the Alfa Romeo 8-Day Experience from the 21st to the 28th June, culminating in the Alfa Romeo Day at Kyalami on Sunday, 29th June.
The 8-Day Experience is a huge test-drive initiative. All Alfa Romeo dealers will participate in this week of heightened activity by staging displays in prominent shopping precincts all around the country and by offering test-drives of all the latest Alfa models. The latter will be coupled to highly competitive finance packages that will be available to prospective customers.
The best news, however, is that everyone who test drives one of the new Alfa Romeo models stands the chance of winning a trip to Italy to drive the Alfa 8C, a vehicle which undoubtedly represents the ultimate expression of design and mechanical excellence.
Moving to the Alfa Romeo Day at Kyalami on the 29th June 2008 – this promises to be the biggest gathering of Alfa Romeos ever held on the African continent. It’s not just for Alfa Romeo drivers, however, it’s also for those who want to pilot Italy’s finest as there will be plenty of opportunities to test drive many different new Alfa models around the race track under controlled circumstances.
Other attractions include a ‘brand tunnel’, in which visitors will be able to walk through a vehicular time tunnel and view Alfa Romeos from yesteryear to the current line-up. There will also be a fully equipped children’s play area to allow mom and dad to savour Milan’s choicest motoring fare in peace.
However, the star of the show will be the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider, fresh from its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. This will take pride of place in the display area and will provide a tantalising foregleam of what lies in store for the lucky winner of the test-drive competition.
Alfa Romeo Centenary in 2010
It’s worth mentioning that this year’s Alfa Romeo 8-Day Experience and Kyalami Day takes on special significance as the 24th June marks the 98th birthday of the illustrious marque. This is therefore, the run-up to the centenary of Alfa Romeo in 2010 and the marque is in the best shape it’s ever been – with much more to come.
In addition to Alfa Romeo’s re-entry into the biggest car market in the world, the United States, as well as the raft of new models that are waiting in the wings including the new B-segment competitor in the form of the MiTo, much behind-the-scenes work has been done to take quality to new levels. The Pomigliano plant near Naples for example, was closed for two months (January and February 2008) in order to completely refurbish the facility and retrain all 6000 workers. The cost of this quality injection was 100 million euros and that excluded the considerable loss in revenue incurred by Alfa Romeo due to the lack of supply of vehicles over the shutdown period. Clearly, the Fiat Group CEO, Sergio Marchionne and Luca de Meo, Head of the Alfa Brand, are on a mission to make the reality as strong as Alfa Romeo’s potential.