Alfa forced to change Milano name amid legal challenge

Tom Barnard

15 Apr 2024

Alfa Romeo has been forced to rename it's recently-revealed electric SUV after an Italian government official declared that the use of the 'Milano' badge is banned by law for a car built outside Italy.

Reports had suggested that the Milano name could not used because the car will be produced in Poland, invoking the same 'origin' law which says Champagne can’t be called that unless it’s made in the Champagne region. 

In a sniffy-sounding statement, Alfa said: "....there are issues much more important than the name of a new car, [but] Alfa Romeo has decided to change it from Milano to Junior in the spirit of promoting mutual understanding." It continued: "The Alfa Romeo team would like to thank.... the Italian government for the free publicity brought on by this debate."

The name Milano was chosen by a public vote to pay tribute to the city where Alfa was founded in 1910. The statement said: "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."

Jean-Philippe Imparato – CEO Alfa Romeo “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 favourites and among the public's favourites since the beginning.  

"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 name Junior was previously used from 1966 for the GT 1300 Junior, which became the brand's overall best seller in the line-up.

The baby SUV will now be called Junior

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