Italy Bans Alfa Romeo From Using "Milano" Name for Latest Vehicle

With government officials stating it’s banned by law, forcing the automotive manufacturer to change the name to “Junior.”

Automotive
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Alfa Romeo, the Italian luxury car manufacturer and a subsidiary of Stellantis Europe, has recently been told by officials in the Italian government that it can not use the name “Milano” for its latest vehicle — stating it’s “banned by law,” according to reports from the automaker.

The name “Milano” was initially chosen to honor the city where Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910 and had quickly become a favorite among the public. This is not the first time Alfa Romeo has involved the public in naming one of its cars, a practice dating back to 1966 with the Spider 1600 “Duetto.”

In somewhat of a cheeky response to the situation, Jean-Philippe Imparato, the CEO of Alfa Romeo said that while they don’t legally need to change the name, they decided to do so to maintain “positive emotion” and essentially thanked the government for the unprecedented number of visits to their website.

His official statement reads “We are perfectly aware that this moment will remain engraved in the history of the brand. It’s a great responsibility but at the same time it’s an exciting moment. The choice of the name Junior is completely natural, as it is strongly linked to the history of the brand and has been among our favorites and among the public’s favorites since the beginning. As a team, we are choosing once again to share our passion for the brand and make the product and our customers the priority. We decided to change the name, even though we know that we are not required to do so, because we want to preserve the positive emotion that our products have always generated and avoid any type of controversy. The attention to our new sports compact that we’ve received the past few days is quite exciting as we had an unprecedented number of visits to the online configurator, causing the website to crash for a couple hours.”

Notably, the name “Junior” for Alfa Romeo’s cars originated with the GT 1300 Junior, first introduced on September 26, 1966. Aimed at a younger audience, the GT 1300 Junior was designed to offer a brilliant, exclusive driving experience without the high costs typically associated with such cars. Despite not carrying the “Giulia” name, the GT 1300 Junior was a trailblazer in a new generation of Alfa Romeos, featuring a 1,290cc twin-cam engine that produced 89 hp and achieved a top speed of over 105 mph. The car’s bodywork was given a youthful and dedicated trim, appealing to the younger demographic. The GT 1300 Junior proved immensely popular, becoming a status symbol of its time — a feat Alfa Romeo aims to achieve again with its latest vehicle.

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