Lancia is to delay entry into right-hand-drive markets
4 December 2008

The Fiat Group’s plan to reintroduce its premium brand Lancia to the UK market next year has been postponed indefinitely.

“Given the current global economic crisis, Fiat Auto has taken the decision to delay the reintroduction of the Lancia brand in right-hand-drive markets beyond 2009,” said Fiat in a statement.

A Fiat UK company insider told Autocar there was no new schedule in place for a later UK roll-out either.

“Right now it would be ill-advised to commit to a date on any relaunch of Lancia in Britain.”

Our source went on to suggest that the new £20k-plus Delta was simply the wrong car for the moment, and that relaunching the Lancia brand with it now “just wouldn’t make sense.”

He insisted that work would continue behind the scenes to bring more UK dealers onboard for a potential reintroduction. “Our work to prepare the ground for Lancia to come back won’t be wasted. We simply have to wait for things to get better.”

When asked if the UK roll-out would now be timed to coincide with the arrival of the new Ypsilon supermini, which could begin right-hand drive production in early 2010, the insider told Autocar that “all things are possible.”

The source wasn’t aware whether any Lancia deposits had been taken by dealers for UK deliveries of the new Delta in 2009, but insisted that any that had woud be returned.

Matt Saunders

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Comments
24

4 December 2008

From what I have seen and read about this car and the other Lancia brand products, they have made the right decision, economic climate or not!

We certainly didn't need another ill conceived, under developed product for the UK market.

I would also have wagered that it would have been a depreciation nightmare on the used market.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 December 2008

This really doesn't surprise me at all. The Delta is an ill-conceived product with only minority appeal within the UK marketplace. At the proposed price there is no way consumers would pay for a product which is effectively a bechromed Fiat Bravo.

Lancia needs to focus on developing a halo model such as the Fulvia coupe which would encapsulate great design with excellent driving dynamics. Or better still, a new Integrale which would give a genuine European rival to the Mitsubishi Evo.

It amazes me that the Fiat Group have failed to realise the potential the Integrale moniker has and the level of good feeling it would generate for the Lancia brand.

4 December 2008

[quote robk77]

It amazes me that the Fiat Group have failed to realise the potential the Integrale moniker has and the level of good feeling it would generate for the Lancia brand.

[/quote]

One at a time. They've only just realised the worth of the Abarth name!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 December 2008

I'm glad this is not going ahead, especially on Fiat's behalf, as no-one would've paid good money for that ugly toad of a car!

4 December 2008

I think they have made the right decision. This could have been the Renault Avantime/Vel-Satis all over again. Any carmaker trying to sell a 'premium' brand is going to struggle if they are not German. Especially when their cars a based on a Fiat platform.

4 December 2008

as a big lancia fan and past owner, i'm glad they didn't humiliate themselves with such an ugly, ill-conceived car. if they were to succeed in britain the only car that could spearhead a relaunch would be the beautiful fulvia coupe concept.

4 December 2008

They really need to restyle the Delta again, the old Delta Integrale was a brilliant car and in my opinion also good looking, this.. well it doesn't quite live up to the name. Before they do relaunch I hope they get some decent cars to give us.

4 December 2008

This is a good call and they have avoided a lot of embarassment for themselves.

PaulJ

4 December 2008

I saw one of the nex Delta's while in Italy last summer and thought it was a good looking car. It looks much better in the metal than in magazine photos. I'm not suprised by their decision though. Its probably the correct one at the moment.

4 December 2008

Oh no!! I saw the new Lancia Delta in Italy and is a very nice car, the best look car of this year for me, new in all and quality is good, best of some old Lancias in past here famous like Beta and Delta first series, this can compete with some German cars. Hope Fiat change his decision, I think Lancia can be a good space here if they spend less for Alfaromeos and more for Lancia

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