Chrysler name to disappear from Europe next year; will formally merge with Lancia
7 June 2010

The Chrysler name will disappear from mainland Europe by 2011, with all its models being rebadged as Lancias.

However, the Chrylser name will live on in Great Britain and Ireland, where Lancia models are not sold.

“Our plan is to have in place by May 2011 a Lancia/Chrysler integrated network comprising about 800 dealers and over 1000 dealerships,” Chrysler and Lancia CEO Olivier Francois told Auto News Europe.

Parent company Fiat has written to almost 1100 Lancia and Chrysler dealerships across Europe informing them that their contracts will end on 31 May 2011.

Instead, a new dealership network to deal with sales and distribution of Lancia and Chrysler products solely under the Lancia name will be created by Fiat.

Fiat's sales chief Lorenzo Sistino said last week that dealers would benefit from the decision as it would allow them to sell a full product line-up.

Chrysler dealers selling Jeeps will become sole Jeep retailers and Dodge will now become a niche player in Europe, importing small-volume muscle cars from the US.

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19

7 June 2010

Interesting...

I like the plans for Dodge. I hear that they will be selling the Challenger (where do I place my deposit!?!?!) Charger and Viper models in Europe.

However, I'm not sure that rebadging Chrysler's as Lancias is a wise move. Whether you like them or not, many people buy Chryslers, like the 300C because of their obviously American personality. If you wanted an Italian car, you would get an Alfa Romeo. It seems to me that instead of a higher end American Brand and a Higher end Italian brand , they want two Higher end italian brands and in my opinion that is a mistake... and will surely exclude some customers.

I'm glad Chrysler will be staying Chrysler in this country though... I've always been a fan of their styling (on most models).

Waits for the haters to show themselves...........

7 June 2010

[quote Autocar]However, the Chrylser name will live on in Great Britain and Ireland, where Lancia models are not sold.[/quote]

Chrysler Voyager got one of the lowest scores in the EuroNAP test I've ever seen! If you're driving and have a crash it looked like you'd never walk again.....

I'd personally have no problems with Chrysler being in Europe if it were one of the better exports from the US. Although I wanted Daewoo to stay as Daewoo as they had been building a very good reputation, one that Chrysler hasn't been able to replicate.

A RHD Charger could be interesting....

7 June 2010

I think the combination of the US supplying the bigger saloons/estates and Italy doing the smaller hatches etc will make Chrysler have a very viable and competitive range for the first time in probably 40 years. The badge issue is purely down to marketing and so far Lancia is non existent in RHD markets so it makes sense to build upon Chryslers investment here to date. As far as Lancia goes, they still have some credibility in Europe so why not. Basically 2 brands on the brink of fading away get another stot at the big time.

Note to historians: BMW built and sold Austins. Renault are selling Dacias. Vauxhalls have been sold as Buick, Saturn and remember the Ford Sierra XR4, that was sold in the US as a Mercury. More recently the Land Rover Defender was built and sold as a Santana for Spain and South American markets.

7 June 2010

[quote MattDB]

Note to historians: BMW built and sold Austins. Renault are selling Dacias. Vauxhalls have been sold as Buick, Saturn and remember the Ford Sierra XR4, that was sold in the US as a Mercury. More recently the Land Rover Defender was built and sold as a Santana for Spain and South American markets.

[/quote]

Indeed, the first ever BMW, the Dixi, was a rebadged Austin 7. As for European Fords in America, I think the Sierra - along with the Mk2 Granada/Mk1 Scorpio - was sold as a "Merkur", to signify German-built cars... however, the Capri and the Cougar were imported as Mercuries, while the Mk1 Mondeo was lightly restyled for the US as the Ford Contour. There was also, in the 1980s, the Mercury Lynx, which appears to be a restyled Escort, but a bit upmarket.

7 June 2010

This has got to be the naffest marketing move ever.

If ever two product ranges with a more differing ethos than Chrysler and Lancia have been lumped together in history i cant remember it.

Lancia, the cool, sophisticated, stylish european and Chrysler the cheaply engineered, cheaply finished crass american.

I understand FIAT`s desire to return to america and I understand them buying into the Chrysler group to achieve that aim, but if Lancia can`t cut it any more it an overcrowded market let it die with dignity.

7 June 2010

[quote Symanski]Chrysler Voyager got one of the lowest scores in the EuroNAP test I've ever seen![/quote]

The previous generation model was the 2 star NCAP car, the new one is 4-5 star so is a lot safer

[quote Symanski]Although I wanted Daewoo to stay as Daewoo as they had been building a very good reputation[/quote]

What reputation? Aside from...No actually I can't think of a good Daewoo. At least Chevrolet has begun to design completely new cars.

7 June 2010

[quote jonfortwo]If ever two product ranges with a more differing ethos than Chrysler and Lancia have been lumped together in history i cant remember it.[/quote]

I think the ethos of the 2 brands are very similar but the american and euro take on the same theme have historically ended with different results to suit their respective markets. Where this may now succeed is the USA is now embracing smaller and fuel efficient cars and Euro product is now seen in America as the way forward. The launch of the european Ford Fiesta in America is proof of changing times. America is also getting the taste for rallying and as such fast turbo hatchbacks driven by the likes of Kenny Block are starting to make new generation of Americans turn away from big saloons with V8 engines.

7 June 2010

[quote MattDB]Where this may now succeed is the USA is now embracing smaller and fuel efficient cars and Euro product is now seen in America as the way forward.[/quote]

Yes, Fiat is probably going to make Chrysler into a maker of smaller and fuel efficient cars. The image of both brands is pretty bad anyway, so maybe this is their best solution. Does make you cringe though...

The only way this is going to work is that the new line of cars is really good, but with the new Alfa Giulietta as an indicator of what's to come, maybe they will pull this off?

7 June 2010

[quote crazyal]The previous generation model was the 2 star NCAP car, the new one is 4-5 star so is a lot safer[/quote]

Erm, no. Doing a search on the Euro NCAP site there's two models. The very latest get 1 star and one with a strike out:

http://www.euroncap.com/tests/chrysler_voyager_2007/277.aspx

It is still an unsafe car which should be withdrawn from the European market, by force if necessary.

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