Lancia Thema: Imported From… History?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

By slyly slipping an image of a classic Chrysler 300 into this ad, Lancia is subtly admitting the truth about its new Thema. And in light of this half-admission of the Lancia’s less-than-entirely-sophisticated Brampton, Ontario roots, perhaps the better Baudelaire line would have been the great stoner’s admonition to

beware of common folk, of common sense, of sentiment, of inspiration, and of the obvious.

If Baudelaire were alive today, does anyone doubt he would have added “marketing” to that list?

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  • Tonyola Tonyola on Mar 10, 2011

    It's interesting - Fiat apparently believes the Lancia name is so damaged in English-speaking markets that they're going to sell the Ypsilon and Delta under the Chrysler - yes, *Chrysler* - name in Britain and Ireland.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tonyola Tonyola on Mar 10, 2011

      Yeah, I knew about the disastrous rust problems Lancia had in the UK during the '70s. US-market Lancias were no better. From what I understand, it was a result of Fiat taking Soviet-made steel in payment for setting up the Lada plant in the USSR. I didn't know that it's still remembered in the UK 35 years later.

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on Mar 10, 2011

    A Lancia that doesn't rust? Fascinating! (Me, I have a soft spot for Bentley-ized 300s that have chrome blacked out...)

  • JJ JJ on Mar 10, 2011

    The tragedy here is not the Thema however, but the Lancia Flavia (aka Sebring), the Lancia Grand Voyager (aka Grand Voyager - yes, Grand Voyager) and the FIAT Freemont (aka Dodge Journey). Mostly the Lancia Flavia though...

    • Jimboy Jimboy on Mar 11, 2011

      I think you're letting the negative press of the sebring influence your comments. I understand that the 200 is substantially reworked compared to the sebring. One writer actually said that the Flavia was closer in design philosophy to Lancia's history than the Thema, and looking at their product I would agree. Remember that this is a 'stopgap' model until the next gen arrives in 2013. Personally, I think the merger of Chrysler/Lancia is a terrific idea, it can only benefit both marques. I look forward to seeing all of the new Chrysler product at the local auto show. The new GC is awesome ( went to a dealer sponsored preview) and my neighbor has an '11 Grand Caravan and RAVES about how good it is.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 10, 2011

    Idea is similar to Opel and Vauxhall. For some reason Britons prefer Opel to be called Vauxhall. I do not know much about Lancia but probably there is reason why Italians will by Lancia but not Chrysler. But I highly doubt that Germans and other Europeans will be attracted by Lancia. But wait until Alfa Romeo and Dodge become one.

    • Ridoca Ridoca on Mar 12, 2011

      Alfa Romeo and Dodge will never become one, that was made abundantly clear. It was also made clear that Chrysler and Lancia would be merged; they actually already have, which is why you have the same cars with different badges depending on the market. The Italian side will provide small cars (Ypsilon, Delta), and the US side large sedans and SUVs (yes, indeed: the lineup wil be beefed up in the next 3 yrs to battle it out with BMW, MB and Lexus across the range). I think it makes a lot of sense to market Lancia in continental EU as it has a more recognized name in countries like Italy (which is the largest EU luxury car market after Germany, AFAIK), and in places like france, belgium, spain. Gemans will always prefer domestic brands as they are easily one of the most nationalistic people in europe (plus, it's easier to find a repair shop, etc) plus. For "New" european countries it's the same if it's a Chrysler or a Lancia, so no difference there I assume...