Lancia preparing to make its return in UK

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 22, 2011

The alliance of Fiat and Chrysler in Europe introduces the fourth-generation Ypsilon, which serves as one of the benefits of the cooperation between the two companies.

Bearing the winged badge of Chrysler, the almost-premium subcompact will be the first Lancia model sold in Ireland and the UK since 1984. The return of the Lancia to these two markets is made possible through the alliance because Chrysler has 46 dealers in the area.

The right-hand-drive Chrysler Ypsilon will be put up for sale beginning in September, which is three months after the vehicle model's launch with a Lancia badge in mainland Europe.

Through the launch, the Lancia attempts to reverse its biggest weakness, which is the brand's heavy reliance on sales in Italy -- its home market. Since the launch of the Y10 in 1985, Lancia has sold 2.45 million vehicles of the previous three generations of the Ypsilon.

However, more than 80 percent of those sale figures came from Italy. According to Olivier Francois, CEO of the Chrysler and Lancia brands, the company wants to tap the "Ypsilon people" who are the sophisticated, affluent clients willing to shell out a little more for a "chic subcompact" in the rest of Europe.

While the outgoing Ypsilon is only sold as a three-door, the latest variant will be only sold as a five-door in an effort to increase sales. Five-door units comprise 75 percent of sales in the subcompact segment. After production of the current car ends at the end of the year, there will be no three-door Ypsilons.

Topics: lancia, uk

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