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Sergio Marchionne talks about Lancia brand...

Discussion in 'Fiat News & Rumors' started by Medicin-Man, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Medicin-Man

    Medicin-Man Member

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    Hello, Erik,

    I’ve been told that the Ypsilon is now profitable since there the marketing and other costs have decreased with the model’s retreating to Italy. Of course, there might be a negative aspect called incentives. But, then again, it proves that the brand could make money if marketed right. The question is, though, how many of them could be sold with the same level of marketing support across all European markets. Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, is a different story. Despite the hype, it has failed to find enough buyers. The latest addition could help reverse the trend, for sure. However, it doesn’t matter whom I talk to. Everyone answers the same...Yeah, it’s a great brand, but I’d never want one. What does it tell you? Lancia isn’t that popular globally, but most people have rather favourable opinion about it, except the British and their motoring journalists (remember the rust scandal gently engineered by Daily Mail, right?)...Should Alfa Romeo turn out to be a failure, it would be disastrous for both the brand and FCA as a whole. Seriously, how much has already been spent on this adventure? And what has the same adventure produced in return?
     
    jimboy likes this.
  2. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Well-Known Member Level III Supporter

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    As @aldo90731 pointed out, Alfa has a big hill to climb in the US market against the established luxury brands BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus. With the recent report that margins at Audi have eroded worldwide, we can only hope it is due to the diesel scandal and not an over-saturation of luxury vehicles competing for the same group of buyers.......because, as you said, if Alfa fails to grow considerably, it would be disastrous.

    I do not think reviving Lancia would have required that much more investment than reviving Alfa. But, there does not seem to be an overall FCA strategy of what to do with the brands.
     
    jimboy, aldo90731 and Medicin-Man like this.
  3. FGA cheerleader

    FGA cheerleader Member

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    They said so. But Audi already has lower margins than BMW or Mercedes. It's mostly because they are a lot more pushing fleet sales for company cars. IMO, FCA is doing right thing with decision not to push into fleet market or not going for leases, buy it if you want it.

    Meanwhile it seems there will not be next gen Lexus GS. Cadillac will build twiner RWD models...

    And I heard something about next gen Audi A4, A6, A8. So I'm talking about next A4 and not all new A6-A8 for this and next year. It's about models for 202x unveil dates. Audi A4 could and would most likely go MQB platform while A6 and A8 are going to MSB. So it could be bye-bye MLB.
     
  4. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Well-Known Member Level III Supporter

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    So, you are saying that Alfa will avoid the fleet leasing that is so common in the EU?
     
  5. FGA cheerleader

    FGA cheerleader Member

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    They are not pushing for that market. Product mix so far for Giulia gives them right. Fleet market is a margin suicide especially when you have low volume. And something is easy to overlook. Firms in Germany and that also is applied to American firms there, have a policy to allow a lease only for a German car. All of this is a reason why we have not seen Giulia wagon.
     
    Prabhjot likes this.
  6. geraldg

    geraldg Active Member Ad-Free Member

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    Part of what you say is true but just think about Honda and Kia. Honda stopped production of the Ridgeline and Kia of the Sedona but a year or two later they came out with new versions of the vehicles Any there was no major announcements as to what they where doing. Sergio has a big mouth and instead of dropping the 200 and Dart they should have improved them, like was said before Americans don't like a loser and that is what he implied.
     
    Erik Latranyi likes this.
  7. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave Staff Member Supporter

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    Right - the Toyota Prius was a real failure, just like the original Plymouth and the 1960 Valiant... or the SIMCA Mille, for that matter.
     
  8. Medicin-Man

    Medicin-Man Member

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    Hello, Erik,

    I also claim Lancia’s revival wouldn’t necessarily cost a fortune unlike Alfa Romeo’s. Of course, it would depend on the positioning. I don’t have any problem with Lancia being a proper mainstream brand with at least some unique features that could set it apart from the competition. There’s simply nothing wrong with Lancia as a mass-market brand, I guess. Especially for higher segments, i.e., not just tiny city cars like the Ypsilon. Again, the Ypsilon proves there are many consumers willing to buy a Lancia for the right price. How could Fiat’s top brass expect an over-priced Fiat Bravo to sell like hotcakes? Yes, I mean the last-generation Delta! What a car it is, this Delta...But, then again, it wore a wrong name and shared rather too much with the Bravo at fairly high prices. Fiat’s 500 family is NO PREMIUM! Besides, I suspect it won’t be something that could possibly be viable in the longer term. In other words, Lancia could come in handy to supplement Fiat offerings in each segment below the D-segment. :)
     
  9. Prabhjot

    Prabhjot Member

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    How's this as an idea: lancia as a very distinctive phev plus richer touch feel materials and some trim sub-brand for the FIAT one in Europe only, not Italy. Sort of like the numerous editions and avatars of the 500, more like Abarth than as a truly separate brand.

    @Medicin-Man
     
  10. Medicin-Man

    Medicin-Man Member

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    As long as it has its own styling etc, why not? In other words, Lancia should be a brand in its own right. I like the idea of Lancia as a make of hybrids or even EVs. Once again, hybrids are often hot among women. And guess what brand has long targeted women in the first place? FCA will have introduced its own affordable hybrid propulsion by 2019. The same hardware could be used by Lancia, yet, in a different package. So yes...:) We all know that the engineering costs would be bearable. The rest are mainly marketing costs. Moreover, it makes sense from the overall financial standpoint as well because FCA could distribute the financial burden associated with development of hybrid tech between more brands.
     
    Prabhjot likes this.
  11. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Member

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    It occurs to me that the Renegade and New Compass could be used as test-beds to try out this approach.

    FWD only......make them as "car-like" as possible......use of the best / softest etc. materials........soften up the suspension for a car-like ride......possibly tweak the styling for a Lancia-flavor.......In other words...."de-Jeep them"..... and I think you've got at least a place to start from.
     
    Medicin-Man likes this.
  12. jimboy

    jimboy Member

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    Dave, we are talking about Chrysler Brand, not Chrysler brands.
    Of course Chrysler is one of the most innovative of auto company's, but you cannot expect to sell a tarted up Tipo as a Chrysler next to the 300 and Pacifica, that is exactly what happened to the 200, Fail! You can sell a tarted up Tipo (or whatever you choose) as a Valiant or Plymouth. I've said that many times, but it won't fly as a Chrysler branded vehicle. For better or worse, despite your opinion, Chrysler is perceived as an up-market brand, not an entry level provider.
    Look at Toyota, Mercedes and Bmw, even they understand that their entry level, or non-core models, required different names. (mini/smart/scion). You persist in looking at Chrysler as a Plymouth with chrome, and while that may have been true for a period of time in the recent past, it is traditionally an upmarket vehicle that competed with Olds, Buick, Mercury, and lower end Cadillacs and Lincolns, Not Fords and Chevy's.
    Why do you think both Plymouth and Valiant were created in the first place - to differentiate the entry level items from the more expensive/upmarket Chryslers!
     
  13. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave Staff Member Supporter

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    I never argued that. I agree that a restyled Tipo won't work. The Chrysler 100 was a rebuild of the Tipo — the Neon is not.

    I don’t think Chrysler has the premium reputation you think it has. Chrysler has not been “special” since maybe the 1970s but even then you could get a Plymouth optioned out to be rather similar — certainly a Dodge, after the New Yorker Brougham died. More to the point, the base Chrysler in the mid-70s was the Cordoba — a nicely refitted Plymouth/Dodge. Then we had the Chrysler F-bodies. It's been too long to think the average buyer makes a distinction.

    Anyway, my point was not that the Tipo would be a fine Chrysler. The Tipo can't be a Dodge, though. My point was that the Chrysler brand could sell innovative cars — you don’t need a completely new brand for innovation. Toyota did not create a new brand for the Prius — which was insanely innovative when it came out. The SIMCA Mille was not launched under a new brand name though it was revolutionary at the time. The 1960 Valiant DID have its own name, but it was a Plymouth one year later. And did you notice that the best selling LH — also quite innovative cars — was the Dodge, not the Eagle?

    This idea of repackaging Lancia as a tech-ie brand is a non-starter, IMHO.

    Lexus made a name for itself not with the innovative electronics — though it certainly had those through the years — it was the complete silence of the interior, the smooth easy ride, the gentle acceleration, the reliability, the dealership experience, the ease of use. They were hitting on all cylinders in those early years. They managed a car that did 0-60 in 4.0 seconds (same as the same-year Corvette automatic) yet felt as smooth and comfortable inside as anything on the market.

    I do think Chrysler needs to have an upscale feel. I don’t think it’s an upscale brand, but I think part of the character is that feel. In the 1990s, though, they did it with what would now be called a harsh and buzzy ride — “connected to the road” was the contemporary phrase. But they also reduced noise, increased comfort, and made the interior pleasant.
     
  14. jimboy

    jimboy Member

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    All I can say is, if Chrysler is not 'upscale', then why is it priced above Dodge?
    And I also think that Chrysler's way forward is either to become a 'techie' brand and I think Lancia should be as well, or to go full on retro with all models based on the 300 style and engineering, especially if Dodge is the sportier brand. The psychosis it currently suffers from is destroying the brand. It should either stay on as a spacious, comfortable, powerful and stylish, near luxury rwd model, (300C), or fully embrace the Pacifica model of forward thinking, hybrid, fwd/awd, modern vehicle style and drop the big car altogether ( NOT my choice!). It simply can't continue to keep changing the game plan every other year, as evidenced by the drift away of even its core customer base due to stagnant or unwanted product. Lancia and Chrysler are both in the same place right now in terms of marketing, product and especially focus. they both need to either move forward into something new and viable (technology leaders and innovators), or to fully embrace their pasts and return to the fabulous cars, IMHO, that they once were. ( Again, that would be my own preference.) Regardless, the only way forward for these two brands is together, since they are otherwise going fall by the wayside if left to struggle in their current forms, IMO.
     
  15. Prabhjot

    Prabhjot Member

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    Chrysler, unlike Italy-only lancia, can very viably go to China, locally assembled that is, or even heavily localised, esp in phev form? And the Portal concept seems brimful of potentials.

    Besides, who knows, the 2 Chrysler 7seat cuv-s, presumably Pacifica emulating, apparently coming by 2020, could enable fca to further grow in the still-lots-of-room-for-usa-growth cuv spaces, supplementing jeep, which after all does have a distinctive or different identity.

    As long as they can find ways to get the overall cost of such Chrysler projects down, imo Chrysler ought to be alright, only more so if a deal is struck with another large car firm that might have Chrysler appropriate models to offer for it too, giving it greater scale economies, even as fca itself pours its development and marketing resources into jeep, maserati, alfa and ram (globally) plus dodge rwd (usa).