Chrysler Replacing Lancia As Global Brand/World Peace Advocate

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

See this ad for Lancia and/or world peace? Now check out the first post-bankruptcy Chrysler brand advertisement here. Noticing any similarities? It seems that there’s trouble brewing in the Fiat family, and “Don” Marchionne has strongly suggested that the new boy to the family, Chrysler, could take over some of Lancia’s profile. Automotive News [sub] reports that the Chrysler brand will appear on Lancias (A.K.A rebadging) in many international markets, and that Lancias could become a niche marque.

“We need to be very careful that we don’t destroy Lancia’s roots, to find a way to preserve the identity of Lancia through an agreement that commonises as much of the portfolio as possible (with Chrysler),” Marchionne said.

Autonews posits 2 possibilities. The first possibility is that Lancia is used in limited markets such as Belgium, France and Italy. Particularly Italy. Last year, Lancia sold 103,000 cars, 93,000 of which were sold in Italy. This possibility doesn’t really make sense as last year, in Europe, only 29,000 Chrysler branded cars were sold. So, on the face of it, the Lancia marque has more value than the Chrysler marque. The second possibility is that Lancia is moved to become an upscale brand, within the Chrysler world. Much like Ford in Europe did with the Ghia marque. The problem with this scenario is that, as we established in possibility 1, Italy is still a strong market for Lancia and a move like this would damage the brand. It’s very much like Renault trying to reduce the Nissan badge to a sub-brand with the Renault sphere.

But Mr Marchionne hasn’t committed to anything yet. He is waiting for Chrysler to release the new 300C, Sebring and Voyager minivan (A.K.A the Town and Country) before he starts playing musical marques. “We need to see product, we need to see positioning and based on that we can make a decision,” he said. Too many brands and not enough market to maintain them? Haven’t we been here before….?

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • JSF22 JSF22 on Dec 03, 2009

    Advertising like this is the height of hyprocisy and cynicism. Sure, let's free all the political prisoners. Then let's end racism, mysogyny, war, and pollution. What a crock of shit coming from the company that used bankruptcy to take the livelihood from dealers' employees in small towns all over America and to dismiss claims of people injured in defective cars built by the "old" Chrysler. This type of insincere ego-stroking and mutual mental masturbation by ad agencies and marketing departments really frosts me. (It is sort of cool to see Gorby in the 300, however, since that ancient sled always did look sort of like a Russian staff car to me.) As a taxpayer I say, stop wasting my money on this nonsense and worry about selling some cars so you can pay me back at least a penny on the dollar that was extorted from me to throw down your rathole.

  • Mtypex Mtypex on Dec 03, 2009

    We don't need Chrysler or Lancia. My market research indicates a need for the Maxwell brand... also Perrier water is good, are phonographs.

  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.
  • Joe65688619 I agree there should be more sedans, but recognize the trend. There's still a market for performance oriented-drivers. IMHO a low budget sedan will always be outsold by a low budget SUV. But a sports sedan, or a well executed mid-level sedan (the Accord and Camry) work. Smaller market for large sedans except I think for an older population. What I'm hoping to see is some consolidation across brands - the TLX for example is not selling well, but if it was offered only in the up-level configurations it would not be competing with it's Honda sibling. I know that makes the market smaller and niche, but that was the original purpose of the "luxury" brands - badge-engineering an existing platform at a relatively lower cost than a different car and sell it with a higher margin for buyers willing and able to pay for them. Also creates some "brand cachet." But smart buyers know that simple badging and slightly better interiors are usually not worth the cost. Put the innovative tech in the higher-end brands first, differentiate they drivetrain so it's "better" (the RDX sells well for Acura, same motor and tranmission, added turbo which makes a notable difference compared to the CRV). The sedan in many Western European countries is the "family car" as opposed to micro and compact crossovers (which still sell big, but can usually seat no more than a compact sedan).