Lancia Languishing On Life Support, Down To One Model

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
lancia languishing on life support down to one model

Notably absent from FCA’s 5-year plan was Lancia. The Italian brand known for iconic models like the Aurelia, Fulvia and Delta Integrale will be pared down to one model that will be sold in Italy only.

Lancia currently offers the Ypsilon subcompact, the Delta hatchback, the Thema (based on the Chrysler 300), and the Voyager (based on the Chrysler fans). A report by Bloomberg confirms that after this year, only the Ypsilon will remain. Lack of demand, a weak car market in Europe and intense competition from a record number of brands all conspired to bring about Lancia’s downfall – not to mention an odd, ill-defined lineup that failed to establish a rock solid identity or any semblance of a value proposition.

That identity has so far kept Alfa Romeo from the same fate as Lancia – even though they arguably suffer from the same external forces. But that’s allowed Alfa Romeo to establish a tenuous foothold in global markets, while Lancia’s appeal is confined only to its home country.

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  • Streetcruiser Streetcruiser on May 24, 2014

    Apart from the legendary Delta Integrale there isn't much the brand had to offer to me. The new Delta was way to boring to be successful. They should have teamed up with Subaru, take the WRX STI hatch and put a good looking Delta Integrale Retro Design body over it. That might have worked. But rebadging Chryslers? If nobody wanted them in Europe as Chryslers why should have anybody wanted them as Lancias?

    • LambourneNL LambourneNL on May 24, 2014

      Chrysler actually did fairly well in Europe, 300's were all over the place in the first few years. In the European mind, an American car is a big, ostentatious sedan with a low price. The 300 (or 300C as it was called here) was exactly that. Lancia is known for sleek Italian design at slightly upmarket prices. There is a complete disconnect between car and brand image. It's like cheap Cadillacs or expensive Volkswagens, it does not work out - ever.

  • Jimboy Jimboy on May 24, 2014

    SM has chosen to put his eggs in the Alfa basket, rather than continuing Lancia. I think this is his first big mistake, Lancia still outsells Alfa by more than 2-1 with only the Delta and Ypsilon models. The plan to pair it with Chrysler was a good one as both brands have similar histories. The new 200 would have made a great Lancia and IIRC the Italian Presidential Car is a Thema. They never really gave Lancia a chance at survival, instead spending $7 billion on Alfa, a brand that sold under 100,000 units last year. I have argued that with the investment going into Chrysler brand it would be fairly easy to co-develop (new) Lancia's along side. None of Fiat brands have great reputations for reliability, so single-ing out Lancia for abuse doesn't wash. Of course, many people argue it wouldn't be a true Lancia, but with the financial realities in today's auto landscape, which marque can make that claim? Just as North Americans must accept Fiat dna in their new vehicles, so will Europe have to accept Chrysler dna in theirs. That is simply the reality of the modern world. I would rather see a Lancia with some Chrysler than NO Lancia at all, just as I accept that the 200 has as much Alfa dna as Chrysler. See: Rolls Royce, Audi, Bentley, Maserati, Jaguar, Porsche, etc.. for their dna.

  • Victor Victor on May 24, 2014

    Sergio did nothing to Lancia. It's being dead since they offloaded the Lybra into chinese hands. The last Delta was ready long before Sergio came along. He might be a good CEO, but he does not print money, nor as far as I know. IntGSR might have the proper answer to that. I'm sure they will bring it back, paired to Chrysler or not. I can see Lancia using Alfa Romeo platforms in more subtle luxury cars. But first they must make Alfa Romeo work. Would anybody choose Lancia over Alfa Romeo? Sadly the Lambda days are long gone, Alfa Romeo is a bigger brand today. On a sidenote, the Epsilon pictured above is historically an Autobianchi model, and not a proper Lancia.

  • The Heisenberg Cartel The Heisenberg Cartel on May 27, 2014

    Maybe they should do to Lancia what they did to Abarth. Make it a luxury trim line like Abarth is the speed trim.