Struggling company to be slimmed down as parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles focuses on brands with greater global sales potential

Lancia is to become an Italy-only brand, the chiefs of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have confirmed, and the long-term future for the legendary Turin brand remains unclear.

Lancia was conspicuous by its near-absence from the presentation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ plans for its individual brands over the next five years. One of the few mentions of Lancia came in a presentation made by Alfredo Altavilla, Chief Operating Officer for the Europe, Africa and Middle East (EMEA).

Referring to FCA’s dealer network across the region, Altavilla said the plan was to “reorganise the network coherently with Lancia becoming an Italy-driven brand”. This reaffirms the relatively insignificant position the Lancia brand occupies in the new-look Fiat-Chrysler organisation, a topic touched upon by Sergio Marchionne at the Geneva motor show back in March.

When Fiat and Chrysler first got together, Marchionne saw close synergies between Lancia and Chrysler, and launched a glut of badge-engineered Chryslers as Lancias in Europe. In the UK, the reverse happened, with Chrysler models joined by badge-engineered versions of the Ypsilon and Delta.

The plan has not been a success, with Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne confirming earlier this year that all the Lancia-badged Chryslers were to be axed, along with the Delta, meaning Lancia would have just one model, the Ypsilon, which will only be sold in Italy.

At the Geneva show Marchionne said: “We have curtailed our ambitions for Lancia. The market has moved on and not every opportunity can be realised.”

FCA’s sales expectations for the EMEA region for 2018 has the Lancia, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands contributing 80,000 sales towards the group’s total volume of 1.5m vehicles. But while key FCA companies such as Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Fiat are expected to make significant sales rises as part of the five-year plan, Lancia’s sales are predicted to remain stagnant.

By 2018 the current Ypsilon would be coming to the end of its model life, which could seem a natural point at which to phase out the Lancia brand entirely.

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Comments
14

7 May 2014
I'm surprized Fiat never put number 500 on all Lancia models as that's all they seem to do these days.

Anyhow RIP Lancia and maybe in a few years time RIP Fiat, I'm really gonna miss the Bravo

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

7 May 2014
It is a disgrace and FIAT should be ashamed as Lancia has a brilliant history of beautiful and innovative products which were tarnished by some cheap steel that FIAT bought to build Lancia's with.
They have forgotten what the brand was all about.
Shame on you FIAT

7 May 2014
I always thought that Lancia would fulfil the grace and style led cars of the FIAT group. Italian Mercedes sort of... While Alfa Romeo was the Italian BMW of sorts and FIAT itself the lower end of the ladder competing with Ford etc.
Lancia had some lovely looking unique cars that could have been updated and moved up the price and quality ladder to offer beautiful unique niche vehicles. Lovely coupes and convertibles with Italian flair and panache... Oh well, it wasn't to be. Shame.
The Lancia Integrale is my last good memory of Lancia being a world recognised car.

MrJ

7 May 2014
Hey ho, into the dustbin of history go such treasures as the Stratos and the Delta Integrale.

Fiat bosses should be ashamed of themselves - and with the present car range, the designers and marketeers, too.

7 May 2014
I still struggle to understand why they bothered to badge the Lancias as Chryslers in the UK. In a very un-scientific straw poll amongst my freinds (signifincantly, very few petrolheads amongst them) every single one would rather own a Lancia than a Chrysler, based on bagde appeal alone.

With Alfa soon to develop more rwd models, it seems weird that they couldn't base new Lancias on the same platforms, perhaps focusing on sportiness for the Alfas, luxury for the Lancias.

To be honest it seems FIAT are being incredibly half-hearted with the brand, and if they actually bothered then it would have decent potential.

7 May 2014
We always thought it was dodgy territory to try and relaunch Lancia as badge engineered Chryslers in the UK. The brand has no value whatsoever; you only have to stumble upon an Arnold Clark dealership to find it littered with heavily discounted 6 month old Ypsilons. The Delta is an absolute rarity and is itself just a ghost of the Fiat Bravo. Visiting the Geneva Motor Show this year showed Lancia to be a struggling brand; all they could muster was the fact that the Ypsilon can be ordered with brightly coloured wheel trims, and the stand looked shabby in comparison to Fiat and Jeep's.

Fiat's strategy has been puzzling for some time. There seems to be a lack of management somewhere; I think it's unfair to blame *everything* Lancia-related on FIAT as a whole, because at the end of the day, somebody somewhere has been making dodgy decisions. The 500 is still a great little car and although the 500L has divided opinion (the 500XL rightly so), they are clearly selling very well, certainly in the UK. In all of this, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and the rest of the Fiat range appears to have been forgotten. The latest Panda has been poorly advertised and I can't say that I've ever seen one of those ghastly Freemonts.

There was always something fun about seeing a Lancia Y on the continent when I was growing up, a bit like seeing a Mk1 Twingo in France. I hope there's enough market in Italy for them to maintain the brand there and keep the Ypsilon as a competitive model (it certainly isn't in the UK) but I agree that it's a great shame that we appear to be losing a great brand.

Let's hope the rest of the group's brands (Alfa, the rest of Fiat) can be turned around. Jeep certainly show some promise.

^^ If you've read all that, have a biscuit!


"Work hard and be nice to people"

7 May 2014
Lancia's heritage will live on, although the cars they produced in the 70's and 80's sadly will not. In a year or two the only Deltas you'll be able to see on the road will be in Italy......... a little like now, really. By putting a Chrysler badge on the Ypsilon FCA did themselves no favours. Chrysler's reputation in Britain was almost as bad as Lancia's. The Ypsilon seems a good car, but you can get a huge discount almost everywhere, so that is bound to have an effect on future values. Presumably the new 5 door Fiat 500 will mean that the Ypsilon can fade away quietly, at least outside Italy.

7 May 2014
The only success really of this Fiat Boss is getting chrysler on the cheap cos effectively it has kept Loss making Fiat in business for a few more years.

7 May 2014
I agree with the majority of what is being said here. I think the rust-ridden reputation of Lancia in the UK has faded now, and it could be a valuable brand for Fiat if handled in the right way. Fiat could do the smaller cars, Panda and 500 (but not the 500X or XL), Lancia could be the stylish, more luxurious brand for mid-sized and larger models (which Fiat struggle to sell here), and Alfa-Romeo could be the 'sporty' ones. However, Fiat's thinking seems a lot more muddled, concentrating on ever larger 500 and Pandas, and running down Alfa and Lancia more and more by the day.

7 May 2014
This is no surprise. Its amazing Fiat survive. Apart from the 500 what have they done right? Where is the Punto replacement. Where are the decent Alfas? Then we get Chryslers badged as Lancias, and Visa-Versa here, all overpriced, and very heavily discounted to sell at all.

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