Journal: Let's Show Marchionne that Lancia Matters

Let’s Show Marchionne that Lancia Matters

Afshin Behnia By Afshin Behnia
June 17, 2014
42 comments

“The Lancia brand has no history [outside Italy],” declared Mr. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat and Chrysler’s CEO, recently when announcing that he will be eliminating the brand save for the badge-engineered Lancia Ypsilon that will be sold only in Italy.

Marchionne-bashing is all too easy these days, and auto journalists seem to love hearing themselves complain about Sergio, but I don’t share that sentiment. He is a smart businessman. He has done a fantastic job reviving Maserati into a coveted luxury brand once again, with a focus on engineering excellence that has eliminated the reliability stigma it suffered in the ’80s. He also readily acknowledges Fiat’s errors during Mr. Gianni Agnelli’s reign when Fiat squandered away much of Alfa Romeo’s prestige and brand value. To remedy that, he has committed five billion Euro over the next five years to make Alfa Romeo the legendary sports car manufacturer it once was, and the 4C is clearly a great start. While rebuilding Alfa Romeo and re-launching Fiat in the US, he has also had the unenviable job of standing tough against Italian unions, notorious for holding back much of Italian industry.

So why would Marchionne want to kill the historic and valuable Lancia brand? Could it be that he’s misjudging Chryslers’, re-badged as Lancias, poor sales as an indication of lack of interest in the Italian brand? Come on, people are smarter than that. Of course a Voyager minivan or a 200 with a Lancia badge is going to have limited appeal!

Lancia deserves a fair chance at a comeback. Marchionne could leverage the brand’s incredible rally heritage that it built with cars like the Stratos, 037, or the Delta Integrale HF, and give us a WRC-worthy AWD hot-hatch. Or if an upscale sports coupe reminiscent of the iconic Aurelia, Flaminia, or Flavia overlaps too much with Maserati, then why not a mid-market lineup with a focus on elegance and design, harking back to the Lancias of the ‘60s and early ‘70s? If the VW Group can breathe life into Seat and Skoda, brands with major overlap within VW itself and much less heritage or global name recognition than Lancia, then I think FCA should be able to do much better with Lancia.

If you agree, show Marchionne your love for Lancia by commenting below, sharing your Lancia stories, or letting him know what you’d like to see from the marque.

Image Sources: wallpapervortex.com, wikipedia.orgforocompetition.com

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42 Comments on "Let’s Show Marchionne that Lancia Matters"

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Iamnoob
Iamnoob

Once Stratos in the market, and Aurelia is out, other big names as Integrale, and Stradale can come out. Also Aurelia can start electrification of Lancia to compete with Polestar. Just another piece of thought. But you guys are gonna crash me for saying that:) But who am I? Not Marchionne, that’s for sure:) just another guy with pation for cars

Iamnoob
Iamnoob
In my opinion, for the beginning Lancia should re-do 4c under stratos name. 4c is a Halo car for Alfa, which did the job, brought back Alfa Romeo to US, provided a niche desirable car and reimagined Alfa’s image in both US and Europe. 4C is no longer needed, as Alfa Romeo sales are up. Retire 4C to bring it back as Stratos. Stop positioning Lancia as a luxury make the idea that fales by all means, and bring back Stratos, based on a reworked 4C architecture. Position new Lancia as a competitor to Alpina, lotus, Porsche. Basically make Lancia… Read more »
LanciaStratosHF
LanciaStratosHF

marchionne non ci capisce nulla di auto perché è solo un finanziere. Tenere ancora lui in FCA è come far dipingere un quadro a un commercialista. Con tutto il rispetto per questa categoria, non credo possa venir fuori un Michelangelo o un Leonardo? Non credo proprio.
Visto che ora sembra che marchionne abbia sistemato un po’ i conti FIAT, deve andarsene e deve essere sostituito con un bravo Manager che abbia anche passione per le auto e per gli sport motoristici e soprattutto pe LANCIA.

Côme Ficara
Côme Ficara

I would love to see a proper Delta integrale lightweigt, an Y10 turbo (integrale) and a brand new Thema 8.32 (integale) in order to kick asses of Audi S1 , S3 and RS4.

That how Lancia must Be!

#savelancia
#savelancia
Mohammad Akbarpour
Mohammad Akbarpour

I know you have to earn money Mr. Marchione and the business should be profiting as well. But don’t axe it please. LANCIA IS A PIECE OF CONTEMPORARY ART!!! Limit its production to Italy or where ppl understands the art!

Gas Project
Gas Project

Mr Machionne needs to get out more. The Lancia/Chrysler mashup is a dishonor to both brands. How about Lancia as the italian version of Audi? Resurrect the 4wd to take on the A1, A3 and quattros – premium small to medium cars to take Audi and VW head on. Think lightness, agility and a splash of luxury, and real drivers cars. If not something original, then I’d rather see the brand die than see that badge on some crappy people mover. Better to burn out than fade away.

olddavid
olddavid

I admire all you stalwarts who still mourn for the days of the Stratos. My only experience was with a Beta Coupe. I do not share your nostalgia. Perhaps I could learn?

Vlad
Vlad
Historically, Lancia build the best engineered, most beautiful cars on earth, nothing came close… And now the Germans can make any car from nothing, look at the new mini and beetle. Fiat lacks imagination, leadership and integrity. They have seen what can happen if they get it right with the new 500 and yet they sit on their backsides and do nothing. Agnelli would kicking all the senior staff into the Medeteranian if he were still around. A company without direction and leadership is a company heading for oblivion. Fiat will be sold off in pieces and the profitable ones… Read more »
Jaba Hut
Jaba Hut

Why I love Lancia,? Because Lancia Delta Integrale is my dream car. Because I start following and loving rally as a sport with Delta. Because you them meet and make frindship with lot of people who loves rally as you do. Because when you are student of mechanical engineering and you start learning and then understanding the brilliance of engineering made in Lancia cars trough its history you start admiring its founder and great engineer Vicenzo. Because Lancia cars are art and soul of automotive history AND FUTURE!!! Capisco Sergio?!

Nick
Nick

I would personally like to see the New Stratos (see pic) put into serious production. Even in low volume and possible platform sharing with the Alfa 4C.
As far as rally goes I think those days are gone. Lancia was a serious contender, winning the world title several times, but they have been out of the picture for too long and a comeback would be a big gamble. (Ford, Citroen, Subaru….).
As far as re-badging Lancia’s as Chrysler goes, please stop it Mr. Marchionne. It’s insulting.

Diego
Diego
Fair enough, bussines are bussines. But for this kind of cars you have to consider the target client. I think that nowadays many people would open the wallet for a really fast-good looking-sport-hatchback. Just to mention some oldies…205 GTI, Renault 5 turbo, Golf GTI ans so on. They dont make cool cars like taht anymore. And out of bussines Mr Marchionne could ask to Juha Kankkunen, Micky Biasion, Didier Auriol, and many more. Just for nostalgia check Attilio Bettega driving a 037!!! Fiat Abarth with Alitalia sponsor and Lancia with Martini sponsor´s are one of the most iconic images in… Read more »
Giancarlo Bernardi
Giancarlo Bernardi

As usual, this shows the fact that good looking cars sell…Lancias of recent times were far from Pretty to look at…

joukokeranen@gmail.com
joukokeranen@gmail.com

No history outside Italy? Marchionne is an idiot. I come from Finland where rally is very important and used to own a Lancia Delta HF Integrale. What a great car, as all rally fans know… I feel sad about the current state of Lancia!

CC5C
CC5C

The only way I could see a true Lancia comeback is for FIAT S.p.A. to take the brand back to its rallying glory. Leave the luxury to other members of La Famiglia.

Deichenb
Deichenb
The greatest Lancias were produced at the most challenging time for the company. Vincenzo Lancia’s son Gianni was fortunate to have the genius of DeVirgilio and Jano in his works at the same time he was bitten by (or maybe pressured into?) the competition bug, and the timeless B20 Aurelia won the Mille Miglia. His efforts the pursue “prototypes” and F1 simultaneously led to the sale of the company, but the car created in that fiscal collapse is a jewel in every way. (Even the F1 car was spectacular and performed admirably re-badged as a Ferrari the following season.) The… Read more »
James Koziuk
James Koziuk
When I think of Lancia I think rally car. I think Fulvia, Stratos, 037, S4, Delta Integralli. I think of all the championships. Go rallying again. The fact that Italy does not have a car currently in the WRC is a crime. Lancia is the brand to do it. I agree that they need a WRX challenger, bring back a car like the original Delta, make it cost and performance competitive, make it sexy, and then race it in the WRC, make versions for the lower series as well, and offer factory support for grassroots competitors. Street versions will fly… Read more »
Samir Shirazi
Samir Shirazi

In my opinion He should change his behavior as a businessman, how could you own a brand and say it doesn’t make people interested. I wondered to know what kind of degree he attained before having his job!

Jeff Lannigan
Jeff Lannigan
What defined Lancia as a brand in its heyday was style, build quality, and engineering (almost for engineering’s sake) – and even then with an elevated price point the company struggled with solvency. Although with Fiat ownership the brand became more performance centric, it seems Lancia began to lose their identity rather quickly as soon as Alfa Romeo became part of the same fray. The rules of the car game have changed completely since the 1960s, and Fiat (like many others) are finding it very difficult to make money while maintaining a broad spectrum of brand offerings (just ask GM!).… Read more »
Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani

How about bringing back the Lancia Delta Integrale as a competitor to the Subaru WRX? I’d certainly consider purchasing one…which reminds me. Some of the early ones are not getting the threshold importation 25-years old cut off!

Rene Borggreve
Rene Borggreve
Marchionne can’t focus on two premium brands a this moment. He has a good plan for Alfa Romeo, but can’t afford to invest in two premium brands. Alfa Romeo has better chances. The youth don’t know Lancia but the know Alfa Romeo. The present Delta is a very beautiful and roomy car for a decent price. But it’s a secret. Nobody buys it. So was the Kappa and Kappa SW, a great long distance cruiser and even reliable. But Lancia made also lot’s of a cars who are rubish, like the Beta or more recent the Thesis, which reflect on… Read more »
Andrew Ro
Andrew Ro
The basic ideea of Mr. Marchionne is that Alfa is a “sports car” and it’s not necesary for FCA, another brand that can be associated with this kind of racing car for the road. With that sayed, i am very sad to see Lancia go like it’s a disposable kid of the block. PSA is also having financial problems but they are still keeping the heads up, motorsport and more. The truth, Lancia will never be a family car, that was the bad move that they got after the year 2000. I was looking at Le mans 24h and the… Read more »
Talha Benani
Talha Benani

Contrary to what Mr.Sergio have said about that Lancia brand isn’t popular outside Italy, I am from Morocco and Lancia is common and respected here. I really wish if Lancia can proceed and continue to blow our minds with its stylish design because that’s the core competency of this company.

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa

I’m sorry but I agree with the decision. It’s impossible to keep both Alfa and Lancia, and Alfa has a lot more appeal… VW should do the same with Seat, because Skoda might be boring, but is very reliable and well regarded troughout Europe. The Octavia SW was the biggest selling station in the continent in 2012, I think.

And the end of a brand doesn’t steal value of the cars, specially the classics, I think. Sometimes it might even give more value to them.

Owen Morgan
Owen Morgan

One word – STRATOS.

Sam Long
Sam Long
Here in Australia we have a huge band of Lancia fanatics who love the marque and the heritage and would be so sad to see it die. My first university car was a second hand beta HPE from 1979 – it was red and noisy and beautiful and I loved it with a passion that I have never felt for anything else. Even the Fiat 124 spider that I have now doesn’t have the same soul as my beta. I have a Delta integrale Evo 1 that is faster than most subaru impreza WRXs, and my father has an Aurelia… Read more »
Lancia Boxer
Lancia Boxer
It’s incredible what Fiat has doin against LANCIA in these 20 years for FAULT of Alfaromeo. Before was past Ceo Cantarella (alfista afioconados) then in early 90s (when Lancia sold 300.000 cars in all UE (Audi was 325.000 and Bmw 350.000), numbers NEVER seen in alfaromeo history!) says “Lancia will be become a brand for MATURE PEOPLE, no more sport and dynamic car who become a field for alfaromeo” And HE immediatly destroyed all accolade in market selling and sport racing with Lancia in 80s. for give all to Alfa: Alfa NEVER become a real competitor for German car like… Read more »
Lancia Boxer
Lancia Boxer

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Raimo

That’s what I posted on Lancia’s Facebook-Page one year ago…
http://bella-vitax.tumblr.com/post/45264451480/how-to-help-lancia

Pete Foglia
Pete Foglia

Sad to see such a great brand name and engineering history go by the wayside. Selling re-badged Chrysler products is not the way to keep i “alive”. Building and marketing exciting product is, even as a niche line. Sergio, breathe new life in it, ressurect it and forget the days of the Beta and cheap Russian steel. Lancia is better than that.

Stephan P
Stephan P
Since it’s the same company lets start with 4C. It seems like a great car but we will see how it does. Maybe OK if they keep the price down. The 500 seems to selling despite poor advertising and the disgusting L. Now on to Lancia. It’s got great brand history but only enthusiasts know about it. To succeed they need three models, entry, mid and halo. Parts bin engineering is fact of life but the design must be fresh. Start with the entry, it should be a hot hatch based on 500 mechanicals. It needs to be priced to… Read more »
Rui Moreira
Rui Moreira
I think that Fiat has done to Lancia what GM did to SAAB. Little by little took away what was core to the brand with blind cost-cutting and poorly made “badge engineering”. Letting old models lingering on indefinitely with crappy restylings and presenting “new” models based on current or old models within the group and made to “look like a Lancia” doesn’t fool the buyers for quite some time. The obvious consequence for everybody (apart from the parent company, apparently ) is a poor performance on the market with low volume sales. I always thought the Thesis was a good… Read more »
Christer Lundem
Christer Lundem
One has to ask, save what? Lancia has been dead for some time in my book. The fantastic attitude shown by the company pre seventies will not happen again. The been counters rule and over engineering as done then will not happen again – or will it.. Todays cars does little to make me excited. Most cars are the same with just different badges. The only way to save Lancia is to build an Italian Mercedes. Only best quality and smoothness will do. If one are not willing to do that, well leave the heritage alone, do not smear the… Read more »
Philip
Philip
Lancia did produce ‘Mercedes’ quality cars in the very recent past, in the form of the Thesis and Lybra; both of incredibly high content and quality but nobody noticed. Sadly, they were positions simply in terms of luxury and comfort and both had styling which did not even appeal to most traditional Lancia shoppers. I was brave and bought a Lybra SW 2.0 5 cal. petrol new in June 2000 and am still driving it today and its running as sweetly as ever; yes, I would have preferred a torquier engine from low revs and a bit more PS at… Read more »
Mattia Franchin
Mattia Franchin

As a 1989 HF integrale owner I can’t disagree more with his opinion. Lancia produced some of the most interesting and valuable cars ever made starting from the once with a Zagato body. What I can’t tolerate is the recently rebadging strategy applied by Fiat. Would you ever replace your old beatyful tree in your lovely garden with a plastic one? Come on

Abraham
Abraham

Lancia is one of my favorite car ankles of all time. I’m from Spain love in the states now, and when I growing up my dad drove a Lancia Dedra, my mom a Lancya Y, my grandad owns a Fulvia and my great aunt drove a Delta. I have been really disappointed with Lancia over the last years, really didn’t like the whole Chrysler re-branding. I believe to keep the brand alive (which I hope they do) they should only manufacture the Delta, and when I mean manufacture I mean having Lania build the car themselves

Vintage Son
Vintage Son
Sergio has said and not said a lot of stuff over the years while heading Fiat, and then both Fiat and Chrysler. I wouldn’t take much of what he says into consideration, far more what he does. He may say that now, but in a few years when they feel Lancia will be able to sell well and the company is well off enough once again to go ahead and have a brand like Lancia, it will come back. For now, they don’t have enough money and it’s a weird time at the company, and Lancia has been their poorest… Read more »
Philip
Philip

Lancia has higher volume sales than Alfa Romeo at present, solely based on the Ypsilon…

Jake Williams
Jake Williams
Not too long ago, they were going to make a limited run of Lancia Stratos redesigns with a Ferrari 430 drivetrain and gorgeous new age styling. I was so excited that I actually have a calender marked for it. Unfortunately, this never came to fruition. I love Lancia more than any other car brand on earth. From the very beginning, they were always pushing the limit with design, technology, and prestige. Just shy of a dozen WRC titles, 7 of the greatest cars ever produced, more technological innovations than any other brand, and just sheer imagination, it makes sense why… Read more »
Casper Yim
Casper Yim

BMW could buy Lancia, and somehow bring them in to the US market. They can market Lancia’s having a reputable AWD system that can eliminate Audi’s, Subaru’s etc. Why because of their 11 WRC titles, I dream of the Delta Intergale in the US.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

If there was any car brand that needed a comeback or a reawakening it would definition have to be Lancia. The once proud brand was famous for its many automotive innovation and technology. The company also did quite well in motorsport especially in rally racing. If you look back at all the Lancia models its hard to pick just one that i like or would want to have. Its such a shame to see this brand being boiled down to a bunch of re-badged cars. If only there was a way to make it a independent car company again.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

As much as it pains me to say it I really think Lancia is already dead. In the current Fiat Chrysler line up it would be too close to Alfa or Maserati to justify the cost of rebuilding the brand. I can’t see any other car company coming in to take the brand off Fiats hands either.

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