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Lancia to unveil Chrysler-based flagship, new Ypsilon

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Lancia to unveil Chrysler-based flagship, new Ypsilon

Lancia's version of the new Chrysler 300, pictured, likely will be called the Thema. About 80 percent of Thema sales are expected to be a model with a 3.0-liter diesel engine.

Luca Ciferri

Automotive News Europe -- December 13, 2010 06:01 CET

TURIN – Lancia's Chrysler-based flagship likely will be called the Thema, company sources said. The sedan will debut alongside a new version of Lancia's best-selling model, the Ypsilon, at the Geneva auto show in March.

The Ypsilon is key to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne's plan to nearly triple Lancia sales in the next four years.

The Lancia flagship will be a rebadged version of the new Chrysler 300 sedan. Lancia hopes the Thema will give the slow-selling brand an image boost but it will not be a volume seller with annual sales forecast between 10,000 and 15,000.

The Thema will go on sale starting in late 2011 with a Lancia badge in mainland Europe and as a Chrysler in the UK and Ireland, where Lancias are not sold.

The Lancia version of the Chrysler 300 will have minor tweaks, such as a different grille and Europe-specific bumpers. About 80 percent of Thema sales are expected to be a version with a new 230-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine built by Italy's VM Motori. The Lancia car will also offer the same gasoline engines as the Chrysler 300.

Both the Thema and 300 sedans will be built at Chrysler's factory in Brampton in Ontario, Canada.

The new Chrysler 300 for the U.S. market will debut in January at the Detroit auto show and will go on sale in North America in the first quarter. It replaces the six-year-old current car and has the new face of Chrysler, with a redesigned grille and badge. The interior has been redesigned to be more upscale than the current model.

Fiat, which controls Chrysler with a 20 percent stake in the U.S. carmaker, is integrating Lancia with Chrysler. The company said in April when it unveiled a five-year strategy plan that it would debut Lancia's new flagship and the new Ypsilon at the 2011 Geneva show.

“All new Chryslers developed after the union with Lancia will have superb European handling. They will convey a real sense of feel for the road,” said Olivier Francois, Chrysler/Lancia CEO said at the Paris auto show in October.

Five-door Ypsilon

Fiat aims to boost Lancia's sales to 300,000 in 2014 from 112,000 last year and the company hopes adding a five-door Ypsilon will attract more buyers for the Fiat Panda-based new model.

The current Ypsilon, based on the past generation Fiat Punto, was launched only as a three-door in 2002 and will remain in production till the end of 2011.

The current Ypsilon, shown, is Lancia's best seller.

“Five-door cars cover 75 percent of subcompact sales in Europe,” Luca Napolitano, head of the Lancia brand for Italy said at the Bologna motor show earlier this month.

Lancia plans to sell 130,000 units a year of the new Ypsilon, compared with 85,000 peaks sales of the current model in 2004 and about 60,000 units in the past two years.

The new Ypsilon will go on sale in June.

Flagship woes

Lancia built a car called Thema from 1984 to 1994. It was successful with 358,000 produced, but its replacement, called the K, was not so popular with just 117, 000 units built between 1994 and 2001.

Lancia last flagship, the Thesis, was introduced in 2002 and discontinued in early 2009 after poor sales. Only 16,000 Thesis units were built during the car's lifecycle.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101213/ANE/101219971/1423#ixzz180zmRXwS

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Lancia To Unveil Thema Flagship And New Ypsilon Hatchback In Geneva

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran

Editor

December 13th, 2010

chrysler-badged-lancia_100303446_m.jpg

The Lancia brand may be relatively unknown here in the U.S. but we got a taste of it back at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show last January where we saw a Lancia Delta hatchback rolled out wearing a Chrysler badge (pictured above).

That was just a preview of what Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne had planned for Lancia; essentially to cross-share products with Chrysler and reposition it as full-line premium brand for European markets. Just a few months later it was confirmed that the Chrysler brand would be axed in Europe, with its cars instead to be sold as rebadged Lancias.

One of the first Chrysler’s to be rebadged as a Lancia and sold in Europe will be the upcoming 2011 Chrysler 300, which according to latest reports will be renamed a Lancia Thema and make its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March. The North American market 300 will be on show next month at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

The Thema won’t be a high-seller for Lancia, with sales of only 10,000 to 15,000 expected annually, but it’s hoped that it will act as a halo model, helping draw attention to other products in Lancia’s portfolio like a new Ypsilon minicar that's also expected to debut at March’s Geneva event.

The Thema, meanwhile, will be differentiated from the Chrysler 300 thanks to unique bumper and grille designs. It will also get a 230 horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 supplied by Italy’s VM Motori, in addition to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 offered on local models.

Production of the Thema will take place at Chrysler’s plant in Brampton, Ontario, alongside the 300, and first sales should start towards the end of the year.

The new Lancia Ypsilon is expected to go on sale in June.

link:

http://www.motorauthority.com/pictures/1052492_lancia-to-unveil-thema-flagship-and-new-ypsilon-hatchback-in-geneva_gallery-1#100303446

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Report: Chrysler 300-based Lancia to debut in Geneva

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Dec 14th 2010 at 11:28AM

lancia-thema-630.jpg

According to Automotive News, Lancia is planning to unveil a new vehicle based on the Chrysler 300 architecture at next year's Geneva Motor Show. Called the Thema, the new sedan will bow alongside the five-door Ypsilon on the Lancia stage in March. So far, details are slim, though it's clear that the Italian automaker isn't planning to sell the vehicles by the bushel load. Early projections say that the company is hoping to move somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 Thema units per year.

Lancia has a rough history when it comes to the company's flagship. The last Thema, built between 1984 and 1994 was fairly popular, but the vehicle's subsequent successors failed to impress buyers. Lancia's latest effort in the large sedan segment, the Thesis, was killed off after just 16,000 units managed to make their way from the show room floor between 2002 and early 2009.

With the proven success of the Chrysler 300 here in the U.S., it's possible that Lancia is hoping to see a repeat performance. Keep your eyes open for more information as we get closer to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/14/report-chrysler-300-based-lancia-to-debut-in-geneva/

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I bet the Lancia Thema will merely be a rebadged 300, not a model based on the 300. That makes perfect sense as Chrysler is fading from the picture in Europe and that may mean Lancia's survival as a brand. And btw, that VM Motori turbodiesel V6 is the engine GM was going to offer on the euro-spec Cadillac CTS but chickened out on oficially due to Old GM's bankruptcy.

Edited by ZL-1

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