Plans to relaunch Lancia in the UK are postponed - possibly indefinitely
29 June 2009

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.

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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.

Farah Alkhalisi

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