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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Alfa Romeo changes name of new car after Made in Italy row

Alfa Romeo renames new Milano model Junior' after Made in Italy clash with Italian government.

Italian luxury car maker Alfa Romeo has decided to change the name of its new 'Milano' SUV model to 'Junior' after coming under pressure from Italy's government.

The move comes after Adolfo Urso, the Italian minister for Enterprises and Made in Italy, criticised Alfa Romeo for choosing an Italian name for a car built at the Stellantis brand's Tychy plant in Poland.

Urso, a member of premier Giorgia Meloni's right-wing nationalist Fratelli d'Italia party, said on Thursday: “A car called Milano cannot be produced in Poland", claiming it contravened the 2003 "Italian Sounding" legislation targeting products that falsely claim to be produced in Italy.

Alfa Romeo responded to the controversy on Monday by announcing that it had changed the sports car's name to 'Junior' despite being confident that 'Milano' met all legal requirements.

In a statement, Alfa Romeo’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato noted that "there are issues much more important than the name of a new car" but said the name change decision was made "in the spirit of promoting mutual understanding".

Imparato stated that the 'Milano' name was a favourite with the public and had been chosen "to pay tribute to the city where our history all began in 1910."

Italian media reported the government's "great satisfaction" over the name change which was announced during the first edition of the National Made in Italy Day.

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