The storied Italian brand will not disappear after all.
Late last week, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced at a press conference that the integration of Chrysler and Lancia had not been successful. This led many industry insiders to speculate that Lancia is living out the last few years of its life, a claim which is perfectly plausible given the automaker's current situation.
Scott Brown, a spokesman for Fiat-Chrysler, indicated that the rumors stemmed from a misunderstanding and that Lancia's future is safe.
"What was said by Marchionne is that the Lancia Ypsilon will continue to be made in Italy while the rest of Lancia range will be developed together with the Chrysler brand and those vehicles will be made in North America," said Brown in an interview with Motor Trend. "A development has been announced, not the end of Lancia."
Marchionne attempted to boost Lancia sales by offering rebadged Chryslers like the 300-based Thema and the 200-based Flavia. The plan has been unsuccessful for a number of reasons that range from new taxes on luxury cars in cash-strapped Italy, Lancia's main market, to the company's lack of image in key countries such as France and Germany.