By on March 3, 2010

It’s both annoying and strangely prophetic (we think) that Lancia and Chrysler don’t have one of those convenient “Brangelina” names, like Lancsler or Chrycia. Fiat’s execs aren’t exactly being subtle about the merging of the two brands, but then they’re also not giving us a lot of glimpses at the stunning execution that it will take to turn two marginal marques into a single, halfway viable brand. It’s almost as if the two are just being pushed together in a forced, unnatural manner, and the results thus far show a distinct lack of inspiration. Not convinced? Hit the jump for your morning glass of has it really come to this? [via].

If that’s a 5th Avenue, then I’m an excitable French branding guru with a tenuous grasp on American tastes. The weirdest part: someone forgot to take off the Lancia badge. In fact, this Lancia Musa has only one thing in common with the Chrysler 5th Avenue: a leather roof.

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19 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Pieces Fit But We’re Still Puzzled Edition...”

  • avatar

    Just what, exactly, are we looking at here???

  • avatar

    uhhmm…a bimbo with really tiny hands? and a crazy misshaped kneecap?

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, what the hell happened to her? I thought if I looked at the picture for a minute that I could figure it out but it just turns into an M.C. Escher print.

  • avatar
    fred schumacher

    Chrysler used to be very good at finding niche markets and rapidly developing products for them. Then Daimler came along and turned Chrysler into a truck company at exactly the wrong time. This is ironic considering that 17 years ago Chrysler was almost out of the truck business.

    So what is Chrysler’s niche today? It made a consistent profit on its compact Neon, minivans, and full-size Intrepid, indicating Chrysler knew how to make a profit from its baseline products, which offered more for less cost (Hyundai’s road to success).

    Fiat knows how to make small cars, which, whether we like it or not, is where the auto industry is moving. Fiat has been on the cutting edge of engine technology. Chrysler was most efficient at using off the shelf components to design new cars, inexpensively and quickly. That’s a good synergistic mix, if Chrysler can go back to its pre-Daimler systems.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think there are any “Pre-Daimler systems” left. Almost everything was systematically gutted or crapified and whatever left that had any real value (especially good people) were shuffled to the mercedes side before the un-merger. During the sale to Cerberus, they were calling us “oldco” like it was a bankruptcy. All the crap to oldco and anything that might be worth something to daimler or “newco”. (only exception was chrysler financial which was the only reason the hell hound was buying anyway)

  • avatar

    What’s the big deal? Chrysler used all its big, luxury nameplates on K-car derivatives in the 1980s.

    Here’s to a Fiat-based Imperial!

  • avatar

    A padded roof is the one thing that can make even the most beautiful car look ugly!

    Please make it stop…

  • avatar

    I’d rather see Chrysler dealers selling a rebadged Kia Amanti as a 5th Ave.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Is it possible that Chryslia shang-hai’d a car from one of the lesser-known Chinese manufacturers? That’s what it looks like to me.

  • avatar

    Out of all the Chrysler model names they could have gone with, they chose 5th Avenue?

  • avatar

    I hope Chrysler offers manual transmissions in their future line up of cars, hopefully Chrysler can become a decently priced luxury-ish-sporty car maker. Chrysler first needs to bring up their quality and reliability.

  • avatar

    That puzzle diagram is still better graphic design than those GM org charts, which I’m hoping Neuss didn’t fashion himself…

  • avatar

    Maybe their new ad campaign slogan is going to be “Because it’s wrong.”

  • avatar

    I like it. It’s a bold move and that’s what they need to be making. A totally different product is needed as soon as possible to fill emerging market niches. This car I’d imagine will appeal to people who see cars as objects rather than obsessions. It comes and goes like iphones or playstation models.

    Bottom line is its better than what they have today.

  • avatar

    May I ask how do you inferr that this will be marketed as a Chrysler? What I understand from the italian site is that this is to be marketed as a Lancia product, a Lancia Musa “5th avenue edition”. There are also pictures of a Lancia Epsilon “Elle edition”. Probably both of them to be sold in Europe. After all, as mentioned in the article, they even got a Lancia badge on them…

    Sadly I think there will be no Chrysler Musa. In my opinion, the Musa is beautiful, practical and ecological, and could be reasonably succesful in the USA, if priced right (in Europe it comes with premium-price tags). The problem is that the Musa is based on Opel(GM)/Fiat’s b-platform (=Lancia Musa, Fiat Grande Punto, Punto Evo and Linea, Alfa Mito, Opel Corsa). At the beginning of the Fiat-Chrysler deal, the Fiat representatives were taking about building cars using that platform in the USA, but since some time ago they seem to talk mainly about the c-platform, as if they no longer considered adequate to try the b-platform (maybe because of the legal terms of their agreements with Opel/GM?).

    BTW, if Chrysler finally builds musas… then in my opinion it would be logical to expect also the (Chrysler, or Dodge, or whatever) Linea. It is the best-selling Fiat “world car”, it is quite similar to the Neon, it is rather inexpensive… and if it shares the building machinery at the factories, why not making it?

  • avatar

    BWA HA HA… A vinyl top will still move the metal off the dealers lots in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, etc. There are plenty of 300C’s driving around detroit rocking their vinyl tops. Fiatsler is only responding to their target demographic.

    • 0 avatar

      I am / was a student of automotive design…

      And these things just violate the standard convention of automotive design. People.. the 70s called, they want their shitty tops back.

      What also bothers me…
      Is yahoos will jack these mo fos up for 20-30″ tires
      Chrome out the handles and surrounds on the lights.
      Chrome the rubber strips that cover the leading ends of doors.
      Chrome.. pretty much everything and anything.

      Yet it still looks like shit!

  • avatar
    Seth L

    I like the sound of lanceler

  • avatar

    Oh please, not vinyl tops, carriages roofs, or whatever you want to call these abominations. I have hoped these would disappear entirely once the “Greatest Generation” could no longer drive!

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