With its new strategic plan, Stellantis intends to bring this great brand of yesteryear back to the European streets.
In 2014, the late Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne announced that he would reduce the Lancia brand to a single model in two years and only market it in Italy. No sooner said than done: in the minds of the general public, Lancia was dead. The soulless little Ypsilon remained the only surviving model and was only marketed in Italy as advertised. Since then, the rest of the automotive world has mourned the loss of a major brand. A brand full of emotions, appreciated by the rich and beautiful of this world, driven by legendary successes in rallying. Done, done.
Since passing into the hands of the Stellantis Group, the brand has now shown a faint sign of life. “Today is a great day,” says Luca Napolitano happily into the microphone. “Lancia is ‘ready for Europe’ and is taking the first step towards becoming a credible and respected brand in the premium segment again!” With this in mind, the Lancia boss announced the implementation of the ten-year plan decided in September 2021. The latter may not launch until 2024, but has the merit of reviving the once-respectable brand on the road to success and on European roads.
Only in electric version from 2028
Rebuilt and in an electric version, the Lancia Ypsilon is set to hit the ball in 2024. It is to be followed in 2026 by a new flagship, an electric crossover around 4.60 meters long, of which we are far from knowing everything. A 4.40 meter long successor to the legendary Lancia Delta has finally been announced for 2028. It is said to be a “muscular, leaky hatchback that will delight car fans across Europe,” as the Italians announced. From 2028 only 100% electric vehicles will be marketed.
In addition, Lancia wants to use innovative materials to become the Stellantis brand with the largest proportion of recycled components in production, thereby contributing to the preservation of the environment for future generations. There are also changes at the organizational level: in order to be able to venture out of Italy, Lancia has appointed new country managers for Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Around a hundred distributors in 60 European cities will be responsible for marketing the brand, with the aim of selling more than half of the cars online in the future. What this means for Switzerland is not yet known.
Yes, it is a sign of life from Lancia – but there is no trace of emotion, sportiness and tradition even after this PR offensive. The future will tell us if the Italian brand can regain a foothold in the European market. One thing is certain: this plan will not allow Lancia to return to its former glory. And the many fans will have to continue mourning the brand. A brand that Jeremy Clarkson once said of its legendary tendency to collapse: “If you want to connect with a car, it has to have human qualities, and if it has human qualities, it has to have flaws. In today’s automotive world, however, there is no longer any room for defects.
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