When the Thesis debuted, Lancia was at pains to present it as a sophisticated choice.
The PR offensive included a presence at a symphony music festival in St Moritz, and a range of accessories produced by Zegna and Longines amongst others. Fourteen years on, this example stands as a stark reminder that depreciation is no respecter of brand strategies or PR bumf.
One tends to imagine that whoever put together the original promotional strategy for the Thesis failed to recognise, much less emphasise, its evidently-excellent qualities as a commercial vehicle. Given the model’s lifetime sales (just 16,000 over seven years), it seems clear that Lancia missed a trick in ignoring this lucrative market segment.
Typical Fiat attention to detail can be seen in the differing hubcap emblems. These are almost certainly factory-spec.
Admittedly, this example – spotted a couple of months ago in one of Milan’s less salubrious quarters – is somewhat atypical. For the most part, when one does see a Thesis nowadays, they tend to be quite well-kept. Perhaps it was recognized by its owners, even when new, as Lancia’s last hurrah. An obscure corner awaits at Auto Italia 2027.