By on May 25, 2022

Stellantis has been discussing the prospect of reviving the Lancia brand for months, hinting that the returning Delta would even be part of the deal. While technically still active, the historic Italian company has devolved into a swath of rebadged Chrysler products and now produces the Ypsilon (based on the Fiat 500) as its singular offering in Europe.

However, some die-hard fans of the nameplate took umbrage with the matter after it was revealed that the Delta would be an all-electric vehicle in October of 2021. As time went on, the manufacturer vowed that the model would be a worthy successor to performance models like the HF Integrale. But continued insisting upon electrification being an essential component of Lancia’s revival and has formally introduced its overarching plan for the marque

According to Stellantis, a 10-year strategic plan has been put into place to deliver a new Lancia every couple of years. However, since the first vehicle isn’t slated to arrive until 2024, that means just three vehicles — which the manufacturer said should still give it sufficient coverage of the European market.

Apparently, there may yet be room for combustion-based power. The plan outlines “100 [percent] electric vehicles” after 2026, indicating that the initial models may come with an optional hybridized powertrain. Though the variant would have a fairly short lifespan, as Lancia’s present strategy demands the brand stop selling anything but pure electric vehicles by 2028. Furthermore, the company said it wouldn’t even bother offering non-EVs after 2026 to roll with regional emission laws. More realistically, the company is probably just going to keep around the current, combustion-reliant Ypsilon as it begins offering BEVs.

From Stellantis:

Lancia’s ten-year plan will begin in 2024 with the new Lancia Ypsilon, which will be around 4-meters long, belonging to the B segment and will be launched with a 100 [percent] electrified powertrain. In 2026, the new flagship will arrive, 4.6-meter long and will allow the brand to enter into the largest segment in Europe. 2028 will be the year of the new 4.4-meters long
Delta”, a sculpted and muscular car, with geometric lines, which will attract car enthusiasts throughout Europe.

These three new models will cover 50 [percent] of the market and will have the duty to contribute to the improvement of Stellantis performance in its premium and luxury cluster, as laid out in the “Dare Forward 2030” Stellantis strategic plan.

A ten-year plan with a clear electrification strategy, from 2026 the brand will only launch 100 [percent] electric models and from 2028 will solely sell 100 [percent] electric models. Great attention to the electrification process, but not only. In addition, a wide use of innovative materials will make Lancia the Stellantis brand with the highest percentage of recycled material, with 50 [percent] of touchable surfaces made from eco-sustainable materials in order to contribute to building a better world for future generations.

The company stated that the vehicles’ interiors would offer “a typical Italian elegance style” that’s inspired by the “exclusive materials of its past iconic vehicles.” It cited the Gamma, Thema, and Flavia, adding that next-gen Lancia products would offer a comfortable environment with simple, easy-to-use technology. That means minimalist interiors where you’re wholly dependent upon the central touchscreen or whatever electronic helpers for rudimentary tasks.

As an American, my nostalgia for Lancia is largely secondhand and steeped in a golden era that ended right around the time I was born. Reading through the relevant forums has shown me that this isn’t what some fans were expecting. A few even seem to be truly offended that Stellantis would sully the Lancia name by building minimalist EVs. But from my vantage, basic transportation is about all the brand seems to have stood for in the modern era. All of its best racers have been mothballed for decades and the rest of its cars passed into obscurity with all of the grace of General Motors’ L platform.

That said, it’s hard to see this strategy working in the long term unless EV ownership becomes normalized across Europe in a handful of years. Stellantis is also talking about selling these vehicles as premium luxury products with minimalist interiors featuring plenty of recycled materials. While we shouldn’t be presumptuous, that could translate into spartan and decidedly un-luxurious cabins loaded up with low-quality upholstery. I suppose it’ll all come down to how much these vehicles cost and what they’re like from behind the wheel.

Regardless, we probably won’t be seeing them in North America. Stellantis has admitted that the Lancia brand is laser-focused on the European market for the time being and it’s difficult to imagine the 2024 Ypsilon being a big hit here anyway. The company also wants to emphasize online sales whenever possible, which would pose some legal issues in the United States. Lancia hopes to re-launch with a network of dealerships occupying sixty major cities in Europe in a couple of years, with online sales representing 50 percent of its annual volume.

“Today is an important day,” stated Luca Napolitano, CEO of Lancia brand, “Lancia is now ready for Europe, taking a first step to become a credible and respected brand in the premium segment. Our ten-year plan, approved last September, is now taking shape, step by step. We are the Italian Elegance brand and this is our Renaissance. Innovation and timeless Design have always been our core values and to these we want to add sustainability, customer centricity and responsibility, because we look to the future with great ambition.”

Leadership certainly seems excited. But, as Napolitano said, this is only the first step toward restoring Lancia’s mojo.

[Image: Stellantis]

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25 Comments on “Lancia Returns With 10-Year Restoration Plan...”

  • avatar

    All of this could just as well find/replace ‘Lancia’ with ‘DS’ and read more or less the same, the difference being DS has current product.

    • 0 avatar

      Producing a supercharged V6 hybrid high-performance sedan (call it the Astura) would fit into the plan perfectly, because driving it would be absolutely electric…

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    If Lancia wants to make money fast it should revive the Stratos as a factory car. Slam the new Ferrari 2.9L TT V6 in it ( sans battery ) for 663HP and they’ll sell every one they can make – even at an exorbitant mark-up.

  • avatar

    Is Alfa making money? Fiat isn’t anything to brag about. Maybe they should work on those two makes before bring a third one in that frankly most Americans have no idea what they are.

  • avatar

    Wait – there bring a pasta brand into there fleet ?

    • 0 avatar

      Flavio carefully backed his Flavia into the parking spot at Flavia. Feeling a small lurch (“Che cos ‘era questo?” he muttered to himself), he wondered if he had collided with something — so he hopped out and checked for al dente.

  • avatar

    No mentioning of rebadging Alfa-Romeo which by itself is (not) a great success in the area of luxury sport sedans. So Lancia and Alfa will be both EVs and compete with each other. And then comes Dodge – another EV sport sedan.

  • avatar

    In the world of Sloan’s ladder FIAT would be Chevy, Alfa – Pontiac, Lancia Oldsmobile (Delta?), Mazer with ventiports – Buick. Sorry FAIT cannot make the Standard of the World.

  • avatar

    Anyone else getting the feeling that all the billions EVERY car company is investing in all-electric vehicles will result in “customers” being offered ONLY electric vehicles in the future?

    Crony capitalism will ensure that GM, Ford, VW, etc., having built the cars governments have demanded, will be able to sell those cars, customer preference be damned.

    Your ten hour drive to the beach now takes three days in an electric? That’s your problem, not Big Car Company’s. They’re just doing their part to save the planet, and now you are too!

  • avatar

    Over 10 BILLION dollars sucked out of North America to fund new models for Europe by various “owners” of Chrysler. It’s time to fund new models for Chrysler and Dodge here in North America.

  • avatar

    The purists seem to misunderstand one simple fact about Lancia as it is: it’s dead.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      I dated a gal back in the early 80s who had a Lancia Beta it was the best handling smoothest shifting car I have ever driven. Beautifully designed but had the typical Italian reliability. Fiat, Alfa, and Lancia are dead in North America and regardless of how they are packaged albeit ICE or EV they will flop. If anything should be learned from the Fiat Chrysler merger now Stellantis don’t market Italian cars in the US and that would now include French cars as well. Stick to Ram and Jeep as the cash cows and keep Dodge as a performance brand.

  • avatar

    This plan won’t work. As others have pointed out, Fiat has too much overlap in branding already. Nobody cares what Lancia used to stand for, they have almost no dealers, and are Europe only.

    This reads like a Seventies strategy for a tiny automaker, just with EV all over the place.

  • avatar
    Undead Zed

    I really wish some of these companies would just do something different with their EVs. Everybody getting into the market is making mid-size crossovers or 4 door trucks.

    If they really want to re-launch Lancia, they should make something small and fast. Preferably with 2 doors.

  • avatar

    Several manufacturers are already using recycled materials for interiors – Mercedes, Audi, Volvo/Polestar, Mazda, BMW, among others – but Matt thinks it will lead to “spartan and unluxurious” interiors with “low-quality upholstery’. I guess the only good petrochemicals are fresh petrochemicals, eh Matt? *SMH*

  • avatar

    Stellantis needs to be slashing brands not adding more.
    Too many overlapping brands as-is and their main European markets are only going to get smaller, not bigger. Lancia can go join Sunbeam and Talbot, as with Citroën, Opel, and DS.

  • avatar

    The White Swan (Ypsilon) is virtually an Italy only seller, and trundles on happily at 50,000 or so sales a year, An upscale Fiat 500 that doesn’t look like a startled toad.

    Lancia has had many decent sedans since 1980, but not a clue how to market them effectively. When you read European websites, it turns out that Alfa Romeo and Lancia have turd dealers so far as the sales experience is concerned, followed up by even worse servicing and lack of parts. Nobody corporately in sales and marketing has given a damn for years. They “swan” around ineffectively in nice suits and snooty attitude and issue blather.

    So a non-dealer sales strategy might help them. Stellantis consistently has 15% of the European EV market with Peugeot and Opel models, which your typical North American pundit or “enthusiast” pays zero attention to, because stick axle Wranglers of epic staleness occupies their thoughts, plus RAM trucks. Then there is the tendency of North Americans to be highly disinterested in anywhere but home, assuming everything and knowing nothing while examining their belly-button lint in fine detail. The USA ain’t where it’s all at these days, and it’ll get to be even less in future.

    So will Lancia succeed? Who knows? The odds are against it. Tavares gave all his brands a certain amount of time and backing to meet certain goals. We’re in that waiting for new models period right now. So far as North America is concerned, he might as well sell antedeluvian gigantos because that’s what the market wants, and they’re relatively cheap to develop, not requiring any particular subtlety.

    For the xenophobes who believe that Stellantis’ profit in North America should stay here, I would point out that a private company can do whatever the hell it likes with its revenues and needs no permission from podunks in Peoria. Stellantis is not the Chrysler of 1998 before Mercedes bought them, it’s not American. Except for the asset stripper Cerberus and its 18 months of dreck management in 2007/08, “Chrysler” has not been a US company for almost 25 years, and “owes” nobody here anything.

    Let them rise or fall on their sales worldwide. That’s what other companies do.

  • avatar

    It wouldn’t be the dumbest move they’ve made to simply have Lancia as the EV brand without a mix of IC and EV products for some of the other brands with existing lineups.

  • avatar

    They already have some great brands struggling with Alfa Romeo and Maserati to name but a few. So why invest in another one nobody really cares about ? Tavares is a very rational guy, are the Agnellis behind such a move ?

  • avatar

    They made a Big Sign (see the picture) and some of them wore ties, so I would take this plan seriously.

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