Alfa Romeo Junior – Milano crossover renamed after dispute with Italian govt over where it is produced

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After being chided by the Italian government over the name of its newly revealed crossover, Alfa Romeo has announced it will change the name of the Milano to the Junior. Why Junior? Well, there’s an explanation for that.

According to the carmaker, the name references the GT 1300 Junior which was unveiled in Balocco on September 26, 1966. This came following the success of the Giulia and served to attract new, younger customers without the burden of excessive purchase and running costs, which is fitting for the Mil-sorry, Junior, that is meant to be most affordable car in the company’s line-up. Over 92,000 units of the GT 1300 Junior were sold and it became the overall best seller in Alfa Romeo’s line-up.

“Despite Alfa Romeo believing that the name meets 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 Junior in the spirit of promoting mutual understanding,” the company said in a rather snarky official release – it is titled ‘Alfa Romeo: Milano name is not okay? Junior then!’

“The name Milano, a public favourite, was chosen to pay tribute to the city where our history began in 1910. This was not the first time that Alfa Romeo has asked for the public’s opinion when choosing the name of a car. It was previously done in 1966 with the Spider 1600 when the name chosen by the public was Duetto,” it continued.

“The Alfa Romeo team would like to thank the public for the positive feedback, the Italian dealer network for their support, journalists for the enormous media attention given to the new car and the Italian government for the free publicity brought on by this debate. With a unique story and an endless list of names to choose from, the name change was not an issue. It was a pleasure to go over the list of names selected as favourites from the public’s suggestions, one of which was Junior,” it ended.

Revealed just last week, the Junior (formerly Milano) is built on the Common Modular Platform (CMP) and can be had with electric or hybrid powertrains, the former making it the first electric vehicle offered by Alfa Romeo.

Italian officials weren’t pleased with the crossover’s original name because it would not be built in Italy. Instead, it is produced in Poland at Stellantis’ Tychy plant alongside the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600 which use the same Common Modular Platform (CMP), a decision that helps reduce the model’s retail price.

“A car called Milano cannot be produced in Poland. This is forbidden by Italian law. 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,” said Italy industry minister Adolfo Urso said previously, referring to a law introduced in 2003 that stated it is illegal to present a foreign-made product as coming from Italy.

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