Hence the joke “What is the most senior position in Alfa Romeo – the Manager of Spare Parts”.
Alfa’s strengths and weaknesses were epitomised by the Alfasud; an entry level car built between 1971-1989. The company was under government control and it was a political decision to build it in a new state sponsored factory in the south of Italy (Sud means south).
Despite their sophisticated engineering, Alfasuds (especially the early ones) had a bad reputation for rusting. There were reliability problems as well.
Some owners quoted a Henry Longfellow poem
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
Alfa Romeo is now owned by Fiat Chrysler.
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