By on March 10, 2011

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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14 Comments on “Lancia Thema: Imported From… History?...”

  • avatar

    Is it wrong to want a Lancia Thema, but not a Chrysler 300?

  • avatar
    Buster Brew

    The ad may be subtle, but the dedicated web site is not.  Lancia is boldly embracing the shared heritage of their new models…

  • avatar

    Man I love the original 300… sorry, what was the question?

  • avatar

    With the possible exception of the aging Mercedes five speed automatic, what is “less-than-entirely-sophisticated” about the 300?

    The LX platform itself seems pretty good, and both the Pentastar and HEMI seem to be up to date.  Is a rebadged 300 somehow less sophisticated than a rebadged Saab 9000?

    The classic 300 in the ad makes sense, it’s pretty obvious where the current Thema comes from – why try to deny the fact?

    I personally don’t see the point in rebadging Chryslers as Lancias, but that doesn’t mean that the 300 is somehow less sophisticated than an in house Italian big executive car design would be.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    Do ya think the Lancia grille will just snap into the N.A. 300? That’s my idea of reverse badge-engineering!

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      Fiat is smart. If you want an indication, go to YouTube or the Top Gear website and search “Top Gear – Lancia”, then watch the episode they did on Lancia. In England, the Lancia name is so trashed due to corrosion problems that the company pulled out of the market completely, and by comparison, Yugo in the US is just a minor joke.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

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

  • avatar

    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…

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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…

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