Always first with the news that matters, this just in…
In a surprise move today, FCA’s Sergio Marchionne announced during an earnings call that the beleaguered Lancia brand could be set to make a comeback. During his conference call with analysts he left strong hints that a new Lancia model, (tipped to be a compact crossover), is being planned – a vehicle type increasingly popular across European markets.
Insiders familiar with the matter suggest the new Lancia model line (said to be a supermini) will mark the return of the Infamia nameplate – one which carries strong historical resonance with Lancia owners. The FCA chief refused to be drawn on details for the model (believed to be a luxury saloon), telling those present, “I’m not saying what we’re going to do. That would only spoil the surprise.”
Hitherto considered to have been on deathwatch, Lancia is currently a one-model brand, the ageing but surprisingly resilient Italy-only sub-compact Ypsilon slowly fading in the market. ISH Automotive analyst, Lars Boom told Driven to Write he predicts Ypsilon sales to drop slightly below 60,000 units for 2017, adding that the model line is “just about viable, but for how much longer?” However, the advent of the Infamia (rumoured to be a sports model) could offer the once storied Italian brand a lifeline.
An FCA source with knowledge of the matter, told Driven to Write the Infamia (potentially a minivan) could be built on a modified variant of the Bravo platform and be made available with a similar range of small capacity petrol and diesel powerplants. “Building [a Lancia model] from such humble underpinnings is not as implausible as you might think”, the FCA official, speaking on condition of anonymity told us before stressing, “nothing is off-limits for us”.
An FCA spokesperson said the carmaker will disclose more detailed information early next year at an investor day to outline FCA’s latest five-year plan through to 2022.
Nobody was available to speak to us on this matter at the time of going to press. However, a well-placed source who insisted on disguising his voice with helium pointed out, “Sergio will keep everyone guessing; that way he can spin things out for a good 18-24 months at least. Who knows what will have happened by then?”
6 thoughts on “Infamia, By Lancia”
Great news. Presumably the model (rumoured to be a Dacia-based hearse) can spearhead Lancia’s return to the Iceland market.
Why didn’t I read this at Automotive News first?
I thought it was going to be an ‘i3 destroyer’, based on the Mitsubishi i-MIEV (whose name sounds very funny in Germany, by the way).
Thanks for giving me hope for a heartbeat, Eóin. You mentioned Sergio right in the first line of the text, which would exclude any chance for Lancia, but since I had a night full of insomnia, I didn’t pay attention to it.
Lancia is preparing a range of new light commercial vans, to rival the Piaggio Ape. Drivetrains tbc, and no details yet on whether it will have 3 or 4 wheels, a steering wheel or handle bars.
Nonetheless, this project is GO and is seen as a huge opportunity for the heritage nameplate. After all, many Piaggios are used as coffee vending stalls, and nothing is more premium or Italian than an artisinal macchiato, right?
Sorry but those plans have been put back by 18 months. However, a possible project is a small saloon based on the Fiat Panda but using S. American engines. I believe that Franco Sbarro has been selected to lead the design.
Fuzzball misspoke. FCA is going to revive the Dodge Lancer.