Alfa Romeo History, Logo & Brand Facts

Alfa Romeo History, Logo & Brand Facts

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In this Alfa Romeo history, we briefly look at the origin, logo, facts, and information about the Alfa Romeo car brand.

Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. is a car manufacturing company in Milan, Italy.

It was founded by anonymous investors. 

The company is reputable for manufacturing high-performance sports vehicles.

Alfa Romeo Brand Information

  • Date Founded: June 24, 1910 (as A.L.F.A)
  • Founder: Ugo Stella, Nicola Romeo
  • Headquarters: Turin, Piedmont, Italy
  • CEO: Timothy Kuniskis
  • Owner: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Website: alfaromeo.com

Alfa Romeo History

Brand Name

Alfa Romeo brand is an acronym for Anonima Lombards Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A.) and the last name of one of the company’s founding entrepreneurs, Nicola Romeo. 

Romeo took charge of the company in 1915.

Early Years

A property of SAID ( Societal Anonima Italiana Darracq) founded in 1906 by Alexandre Darracq French automobile firm along with several Italian investors including an aristocrat from Milan, Cavaliers Ugo Stella had served as the first factory building for A.L.F.A.

In 1909 the Darracq company recorded slow sales and little financial profit.

Thus, the company wound up. 

With cooperation from the other Italian co-investors, Ugo Stella purchased assets belonging to Italian Darracq and founded a new company, A.L.F.A.

The first car A.L.F.A. manufactured was 1910 24 H.P. 

It was designed by Giuseppe Merosi, who had been hired in 1909 for the purpose of designing cars fitting to the Italian car market. 

A.L.F.A also explored the racing scene. 

In 1911, drivers Franchini and Ronzoni re-presented the company in a motor racing competition, driving two 24-hp models.

War Years

A few years later, after the founding of A.L.F.A., the first World War struck, and A.L.F.A. stopped its automobile production for three years.

Still, with the war raging on, in 1915, A.L.F.A. came under Nicola Romeo’s leadership, a Neapolitan entrepreneur.

He converted the A.L.F.A. factory for the production of military hardware in support of the war efforts. 

When the war ended, Romeo invested his war profit in the purchase of several locomotives and railway carriage plants, which added on to his A.L.F.A. ownership.

A.L.F.A. resumed car production in 1919.

The following year, the company was renamed, Alfa Romeo.

Giuseppe Merosi remained head designer.

The Torpedo 20-30 HP was the first car released under the new name.

In 1923 however, Merosi was replaced as the company designer by Vittorio Jano from Fiat, and he produced the Alfa Romeo P2 Grand Prix car. 

Nicola Romeo left Alfa Romeo in 1928.

The government back then, which had effective control over the company, rescued Alfa Romeo.

Soon the second World War struck, and the Alfa factory was bombed.

Post War

After the war, the company struggled to gain back business stability.

Luxury vehicles were out, and in 1954, Alfa Romeo began producing smaller, mass-produced vehicles.

The 1960s and 70s saw Alfa Romeo conquer and rule in several race competition.

It emerged winner in the 1966 inaugural Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am championship and 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars, among many victories.

In 1968, a new company, the “Industrial Napoletana Costruzioni Autoveicoli Alfa Romeo-Alfasud S.p.A,” was formed with a 90% stake belonging to Alfa Romeo and 10% to a Government controlled holding company Finmeccanica.

The move was made as a result of France’s 1968 protest and Italy’s Hot Autumn.

Fiat Acquisition

In the 1970s, Alfa Romeo was in trouble waters again with limited financial resources.

By 1986 Alfa Romeo was up for sale.

That same year, Fiat made a deal, and Alfa Romeo was merged with Lancia into Fiat’s Alfa Lancia Industrials S.p.A.

2007 saw a major restructuring in Fiat Auto S.p.A.

Thus, four new automobile companies were created: Fiat Automobiles S.p.A., Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A., Lancia Automobiles S.p.A., and Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles S.p.A., all under the ownership control of Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A.

Current Developments

In 2010, Alfa Romeo celebrated 100 years of existence. 

By 2017, its production rate had increased by 62%, producing a total of 150,622 vehicles.

Current Alfa Romeo Logo

Current Alfa Romeo Logo

Romano Cattaneo had designed the Alfa logo first in 1910. 

The logo had been based on a crest above the door of Castello Sforzesco in Milan.

The creature on the iconic Alfa Romeo logo shows a serpent with a human being’s body in its mouth. 

The symbol is modeled after the Visconti family’s ancient crest, which is one of Milan’s 21st century influential families.

The symbol is meant to be intimidating to others.

Alfa Romeo Facts

  • Alfa Romeo is one of the most alluring brands.
  • Alfa Romeo has French roots.
  • Alfa is an acronym of Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. 

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