Chrysler won’t be shutting down Lancia, according to spokesman Scott Brown who denies rumors of its closure. Lancia will continue operations in Europe while the Epsilon will have its production in Italy and Chrysler will make the remaining models in North America. Marchionne said that Chrysler will make the Lancia Epsilon in Italy while the other models in the Lancia portfolio will be co-developed with the Chrysler Brand and those vehicles will be made in North America.
Brown said that there are changes but it won’t be the end of Lancia. German automotive news source Automobilwoche said that Lancia, the storied Italian automaker famous for building such fan favorites like the Stratos, 037, and Delta Integrale, might be discontinued.
It’s rumored too that Fiat will have a reorganization so that it can be more competitive against Mini and so that Jeep will expand its reach worldwide. Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne made the announcement during a recent conference call in Europe. If this is true, the most significant change to Fiat’s operations would be the discontinuation of Lancia, which has been doing poorly in the European market for several years.
Lancia has virtually been dead weight to Fiat while the European economy continues to struggle. Lancia presently offers a combination of compact cars and rebadged Chryslers to European buyers.
In the conference call, Marchionne said that he is no longer under any illusion that a new Lancia can be built. So that Fiat could fill in the gap that is left by Lancia’s departure from the Fiat lineup, Maserati brand will be shifted slightly down-market and Alfa Romeo will be moved slightly upmarket so that the two brands could together cover the entire spectrum of the highly significant premium segment.