Mercedes Could Be The Key To Saving Struggling Italian Brand

Industry News / Comments

It's called benchmarking a winning formula.

Somehow, Lancia is still around. Now part of Stellantis following the FCA-PSA Groupe merger, the struggling yet legendary Italian marque is down to just one model, the Ypsilon. It's sold in just one market: Italy. This situation won't last forever.

We reported in October about Lancia's intention to revive the Delta as a fully electric vehicle in 2026. Of course, a new Delta alone won't be enough to keep Lancia alive. More models are necessary but so is a long-term plan. Automotive News Europe has learned that Lancia intends to aim for profitability over volume. Still, a benchmark remains necessary and Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano has found it: Mercedes-Benz.

Sebastiano Ciarcia/Instagram
Sebastiano Ciarcia/Instagram

"We still need to work and need to look at a benchmark… which for us is Mercedes," Napolitano said. "I don't mean we want to fight against Mercedes, that would be naive, but that is an example of what we look at." This doesn't mean Lancia will be coming to the US after all.

The plan, for now, is for it to remain in Europe only but its primary targets there will be Germany and France due to their above-average pace towards electrification. Spain, Belgium, Austria, and the Nordic countries will follow. Right-hand drive variants for the Japanese, South African, and Australian markets haven't been ruled out.

Lancia
Lancia
Lancia
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Under Napolitano, the plan is to launch three new models, starting with a redesigned Ypsilon in 2024. It'll be sold with hybrid and battery-electric setups. A compact EV crossover is expected in 2026 followed by a compact hatch, aka the reborn Delta. To be clear, Lancia has no intention to race its new Delta. It's probably best to think of it as something similar, though slightly smaller, to the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

It doesn't seem likely that the revitalized Lancia will lure away Mercedes customers, but what it might be able to do is attract a slightly younger, first-time luxury buyer crowd looking for something different. Napolitano also wants to make buying a new Lancia online extremely easy by making it possible to purchase "with just three clicks."

Front Angle View Hyundai
Rear Angle View Hyundai
Side View Hyundai
Source Credits: Automotive News Europe

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