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Marchionne Planning to Drop Lancia Brand

Slow sales, no likely turnaround lead to death of Fiat sibling.

by on Nov.02, 2012

Chrysler tried -- and failed -- to boost demand for its Lancia brand with rebadged, U.S.-made Chrysler products. The 300 sedan, shown here, has been sold as the Lancia Thema.

After years of struggling to revive the ailing brand, Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne appears ready to pull the Lancia brand off life support.

“The brand will be reduced or eliminated,” the executive revealed during a conference call discussing plans to improve the sagging fortunes of the entire Fiat Automotive Goup..

Even though the net profit of the Fiat Group in the third quarter came in at € 286, the maker’s debt increased to 6.7 billion. Lancia has been a significant part of Fiat’s woes in recent years, and Marchionne made clear that the focus has to be put on the group’s strongest brands, including Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

Eliminating Lancia would not mean closing a plant in Italy, nevertheless the company’s shares saw a sharp decline on the stock market.

The Last Word!

Marchionne expects the Fiat Group to not be able to reach break-even in Europe before 2016, because of the deep crisis in the Continental automobile market. He said the company has to regroup and to the surprise of many: “We have to be honest. Lancia will never be what is once was. The only model that is of any value in Europe is the Ypsilon, which will be saved. The rest of the range has no appeal.”

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Chrysler & Fiat Planning Major Roll-Out in Geneva

Makers set to underscore breadth of trans-Atlantic partnership.

by on Jan.31, 2011

With a Lancia badge on the grille, the new Chrysler 300 will take another bow at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

While there are dozens of new product roll-outs scheduled for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Chrysler and its Italian ally Fiat hope to steal much of the thunder with an assortment of new offerings set to underscore the breadth of their fast-growing, trans-Atlantic partnership.

Perhaps the most significant of the pair’s previews will be the debut of the Lancia Thema, an all-new flagship for the Fiat subsidiary, and a replacement for a top-line model that has been missing from the Lancia line-up for some time, said Olivier Francois, brand manager for both the Lancia and Chrysler brands, during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com.

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While the executive hinted there will be other offerings coming, he acknowledged that the Geneva event also will see the debut of a new version of the Chrysler Voyager, the European version of the American Town & Country minivan, as well as the new Chrysler 200 and the Lancia Ypsilon, the first model for that brand based on the popular Fiat 500 microcar.

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