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Alfa Romeo ending MiTo production in July?

by Ronan Glon

The Giulietta will become Alfa\'s entry-level model.

Alfa Romeo's model line-up will shrink again in the coming weeks, according to a recent report. The Italian brand will stop production of the MiTo, its smallest and most affordable model, during July.

The news comes from Spanish website Motor. If the time frame is accurate, the MiTo (a portmanteau of Milan and Torino) will have spent a little over a decade on the European market.

The writing has been on the wall for a while now. Motor adds Alfa Romeo sold just 33 examples of its Mini-fighting model in Spain during the first quarter of the year. European sales totaled 11,000 last year, down from a peak of 62,000 in 2009, the car's first full year on the market.

So, what's next?

Nothing, at this point. As of writing, a direct successor to the MiTo isn't in the pipeline. It's too small to sell in global markets like the United States and China and its two-door body style is becoming a tough sell even in hatchback-crazy Europe.

"If there is a MiTo [in future] I don't think it will be in the [current] shape. The market has shrunk; two-door B segment hatchbacks is a very shrinking market," Fiat- Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) boss Sergio Marchionne told Auto Express last month.

The decision to deep-six the MiTo makes the Giulietta, a four-door hatchback launched in 2010, Alfa's new entry-level model. It competes in the same segment as the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3. It's getting long in the tooth, too, but it stands a better chance of spawning a successor than its smaller sibling.

We'll learn more about Alfa Romeo's plans for its hatchbacks in June when Marchionne publishes a five-year plan for each one of the group's brands.

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