Lancia may return to Australia - theage.com.au
Quirky Italian car maker Lancia is considering a return to Australia after an absence of more than 20 years.
Since Ateco represent Fiat Auto in Aus/NZ I presume if Aussie happens we’ll also see Lancia back in NZ in 2010?
When I think of Lancia it’s 70’s classics – like the Beta HPE, Beta & Gamma Coupe – and the 80’s Delta which come to mind. As Lancia dissolved in a pile of rust and abandoned RHD markets shortly after it’s those memories which linger. New Zealand hasn’t seen a new Lancia for decades but you do see the occasional survivor. I particularly remember following a trio of Delta Integrales near Hamilton a few years ago. To see one is rare, three at the same time just amazing!
The line from the article that floored me was:
[Lancia boss Olivier Francois] ..who has told journalists he wants Lancia to be “Italy’s answer to Lexus”
Given the current range, warmed over Fiat platforms with odd styling, he’s got one heck of a job ahead of him. Lexus had the advantage of starting from a clean slate not the mixed Lancia legacy of classic (but lately just odd) design, motorsport credibility and appalling quality.
It’s likely to be the new Delta we see first which is, as I’ve said before, elegantly odd rather than a classic beauty. It would be nice to see Lancia return but with Fiat Auto sales counted in the hundreds (239 Fiat (the 500 will boost that in 08) , 516 Alfa Romeo, 32 Ferrari in 2007) wouldn’t the money be better invested in the current brands rather than adding another one?
UPDATE 2008–07–28: There’s a great Lancia Delta Integrale review in NZ Classic Car