Lancia and Chrysler: a marriage for long
In the last weeks there was a rumor regarding a possible breakdown between Lancia and Chrysler brand. The information was based on the fact that there are no new coming products for Lancia in the next 2 years. The source includes the low sales volume that generate the Lancia Thema, Voyager and Flavia, as a good reason for a change in the strategy. These and other non-sense information make part of the usual rumours regarding Lancia and its future. Since it became part of the ‘global’ Lancia-Chrysler alliance, the controversy among fans and specialized press hasn’t stopped. Many of them reject the idea of a rebadged Lancia using Chrysler products. The situation gets worse when looking at these product’s sales in Europe. They are extremely rare cars to see in the streets (even in Italy). However, these cars are temporary products that Marchionne decided to bring to Europe to enlarge Lancia’s range and return to segments left by the group some years ago.
Lancia had no other choice. The current European car market downturn affected Lancia’s sales, forcing the group to delay the development of new products. Then Chrysler brand appeared. I wrote it some months ago: the marriage with Chrysler saved Lancia from death. Now it makes part of an international brand with presence in many countries, and with a strong position in USA, the world’s second largest market. Now Lancia can benefit from a joint work and a promising future together. Based on current situation anyone would deny that. Yes, both brands’ range of products is somehow old. But better times will come, and the new Chrysler 200 is the best proof of that. Chrysler has almost ready the successor of the 200 sedan and will present it at Detroit motor show in January 2014. From the spy pictures it seems to be a very nice sedan with an awesome interior. This car was jointly developed by both brands and was conceived for both markets: USA and Europe. Then, it has Lancia’s DNA as well, and won’t be rebadged product. The new 200, which may be called Lancia Flavia in Europe, is my best reason to think that the marriage Lancia-Chrysler is for long.