As fast as Fiat released its results for 2012 and plans for coming years, a rumor became that big that anyone could tell that Marchionne himself confirmed it during the conference call. Specialized press and a lot of Italians were saying that Lancia was finally dead. What really happened in that presentation regarding Lancia must be closely analized because the truth is that the brand will continue to exist with a different approach. Yes, in Europe’s plans for coming years, Lancia was the only brand to have one all-new model, while the other brands of the group were plenty of them. Even Maserati is expected to have more new cars in the next 3 years. Lancia plans to introduce one new model in 2013 and then in 2015. Nowadays its range is composed by one Italian made car, the Delta, one coming from Poland, the Ypsilon, and 3 Americans: Thema, Voyager and Flavia. In 2013 the Delta will die along with the Bravo, and its successor is expected to come from USA and will soon presented in Detroit as the Chrysler 100 (January 2013). Then, in this scenario Lancia will not produce anymore its cars in Italy, at least for the next 3 years. And that’s why so many people say the brand is dead. Lancia is 100% Italian but soon will not offer any 100% Italian product, so the ‘made in Italy’ feature will not be part of the brand anymore. Certainly is not what all Lancistas want as they still think of rallye times in which Lancia was more known for its victories in the race than for its sales registrations. Times have changed and European scenario has forced a lot of car makers to change also if they want to survive. That’s the case of Lancia as part of Fiat Group.
By the time Fiat bought the majority of Chrysler, Lancia and Alfa Romeo were struggling to survive with their battle against Germans and French. They still need a lot of effort to become profitable. Alfa Romeo has already big plans as it will be focused on American market, but Lancia is more local and has lost a big market share in the last decade. Those brands thinking local will disappear and Lancia is a high valuable brand to let that happen. It is why its future is merged to another great brand so they both can survive. Lancia’s future is Chrysler’s future, and they will both join their forces to create a unique company with two names and two markets. Some people would say that the original Lancia is dead. But personally I think Lancia has finally become global and important in terms of volume. It may not have the spirit it used to have 50 years ago, but its future does not depend anymore on Italian clients. It has found a big partner to develop its products and gain more market share in Europe. With Chrysler both brands will jointly create and develop new cars not only for America (as it happens now with the Lancia Thema, which is a 100% Chrysler) but thinking also of European requirements. Of course, an Italian brand with no products made in Italy is not the best thing, but in the globalized world, the origin of the products is not as important as it was before. For example, Lamborghini is an Italian brand owned by Germans, and I think it makes it more German than Italian. What really matters is the way the cars are created and of course Italians will continue to own the company and it means it will have at the end the Italian touch. Long life to Lancia.