Fiat has stalled plans to relaunch Lancia in the UK again – and may cancel them altogether.
Right-hand-drive Lancias were scheduled to be sold in the UK in early 2010, with the all-new Delta spearheading sales, but officially imports have been postponed now until at least 2011.
However, Fiat UK marketing director Elena Bernadelli has revealed the relaunch of Lancia in the UK “is now very unlikely”.
She added that right-hand drive Lancias may now not be made.
In a separte interview, a Fiat spokesman conceded that the company’s alliance with Chrysler had diverted resources, and added that launching an expensive, niche premium-brand product-line in Europe is not currently a priority.
The spokesman suggested that it is not financially viable to re-engineer cars including the Delta and new-generation Ypsilon supermini for a right-hand-drive layout.
He added that Fiat is currently evaluating building a ‘Giardiniera’ mini-estate based on the 500, but said the [project will not be given the go-ahead in the near future.
Fiat’s next all-new car – rather than a replacement for an existing model – is therefore expected to be the ‘Topolino’, a mini city car even smaller than the 500.
This is scheduled to go into production at the former Yugo-Zastava factory in Serbia next year. Four-seat versions will come first, followed by Smart-rivalling two-seaters.