Lancia Motor Club

General => General Chat => Topic started by: Scarpia on 28 September, 2007, 06:12:58 PM



Title: Past Present and Future
Post by: Scarpia on 28 September, 2007, 06:12:58 PM
Quote
Lancia will have to grapple with the past if they want to sort the future.  A properly presented campaign about the new cars highlighting the strengths and corrosion protection is the way to go.  If they bury the issue and pretend it never happened, it will simply never go away.
There needs to be clarity about the past and a robust plan for the future
.... now where have I heard this before? ;-)
quote from 13HOU

If Lancia are interested in the future they'll target buyers that can't remember 70's rust scandals. Anyway, I don't think many buyers have corrosion worries when making buying decisions these days.It's brand image , price, practicality and /or performance that leads to the choice I think.The Thesis is a very good car but 99% of people that can choose a 5 series BMW are not going to choose one because Lancia have an unclear brand image.Which means an identiy crisis for the buyer because they then don't know where they are on the social ladder. More importantly, others won't know. Pathetic and sad but until Lancia can turn this around they"ll keep making expensive and good cars they cannot sell.  


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 28 September, 2007, 09:53:35 PM
If Lancia are serious about wanting to move into the UK market (and Im not yet convinced they do) they should forget the Delta, a car associated with the past, and concentrate on the Ypsilon, a car loved by the French and the Italians because it appeals to a younger generation with no pre-conceived ideas, they just want to be associated with something cuddly and different. Mark my words, Ypsilon will save Lancia the same way the 924 saved Porsche.   


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: Betaboy2.0 on 28 September, 2007, 11:11:06 PM
I think ( for what it is worth) that Lancia's biggest problem in the Uk will not be with the public, but with the motoring press. Remember that in the 70's most mainstream publications were all telling their readers that the Beta was the best car and best buy in its class (Motor "a car we like and respect"  Car "we want one" What Car? " the Beta really is a quality car at a popular car price") When the "problem" was blown up out of all proportion, the motoring press were left with perceived egg on their faces and never gave Lancia another chance. Every road test or article after that started with reference to the "rust scandal" even when Thema and Dedra came along. They were never going to let a Lancia win a road test again!  We can all predict now what the popular press reaction will be when Lancia re-launches.....it will bring up all the reasons why they left in the first place and of course flower it up to suit their own misguided versions of history. I really hope that the Fiat / Lancia press office can get round things as well as VW have done (did you know that every K70 sold in the uk was recalled due to suspension corrosion) and Honda (massive worldwide recall of Preludes and Accords in the late 70's due to suspension corrosion). Surely Lancia's best action now can be to say nothing - after all, "the lady doth protest too much"


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: l3hou on 29 September, 2007, 08:44:16 AM
I think ( for what it is worth) that Lancia's biggest problem in the Uk will not be with the public, but with the motoring press.

Absolutely spot on.

It's got be soooo clear to the press that rust is so old hat, that no reader believes it anymore. 

I remember Audi.  They tackled the "rotten Ro" thing with huge press about zinc chassis.  Now journalists talking about rotten Audis would simply get the readers thinking "huh?"

Peter - looking at VAG - I don't think the 924 is the best example of Porsches recovery - in fact I would say dropping front-engined sports cars such as 924/928 has helped focus development to what people liked about the brand.  As a previous 911 owner (1966 series 1 SWB) I think that the move away from 92x to now rear-engined cars got Porsche back to their sports car DNA (excepting DNA is now overused!).  Their club now jest about "air-cooled" or not "water-cooled" rather than "Audi" Front-engined versus "Porsche" rear-engined which is a lot more brand-ist.  Words such as "system-Porsche" don't appear anymore either.

I personally think modern Audi is a great example of an "odd", slightly bohemian, "old grandad" brand with an ancient high-quality history (stemming from Horch - the imperative of "listen" in German just as "Audi" is for latin).  The original company also went to the wall.  Look at Audi now.

Audi is a desired brand.  Lets face it - from being a stuffy brand pre rallying, it's now got Sales Rep appeal, family station wagon appeal - and the S and RS series are the most respected performance cars anywhere.

How Lancia have such huuuuuuuge potential, if only they knew it.  I see Lancia as a resurgent Audi in the making.  How strong is "quattro" a brand for Audi nowadays? It stands for grip, performance, security, even reliability.  Where did that come from ?........

Rallying

Come on Lancia Delta "integrale" - the car that WILL make or break the brand (an irony if ever there was one)


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: Scarpia on 29 September, 2007, 11:51:20 AM
journalists are a plague with their preconceived agendas and have unhealthjy influence sometimes. This will of course influence perception of brand image with the public and that is the key issue . However other makes have had to contend with worse.Just look in particular at the turn around of Skoda since its association with a so called credible make.The stigma disappeared almost overnight here in europe and they are seen as a good quality and well respected family car.They aren't bad either but they are nothing special, its just the power of people saying , well  its really from VW so it must be ok. Now if I recall there were books published of skoda/lada jokes so if its possible to turn that around, why should Fiat marketing have a problem with Lancia.? ...because Fiat themselves do not have such a strong image as say VAG,BMW or even Opel dare I say.

I'm also a Fiat fan and currently drive one but I think Lancia needs distancing as a brand and preferably is seperate showrooms.Otherwise people just think they pay through the nose for a posh Fiat with a different grill and nicer seats.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: FanaloneMan on 01 October, 2007, 02:02:32 PM
"Ypsilon will save Lancia"

It already did, the last few years when all those who were ringing the death knoll for Lancia. Where these people now?

It's timeto move forward.

The Delta is the last big name Lancia had and it is a legend.

Would you also want to see the Fulvia name the Stratos or Aurellia name or any of the other great Lancia's consigned to the history book as well?

Not me. I believe a new Delta, taking over from where the last one left off will continue the proud tradition last held by the Delta and for the glory of Lancia and the Ypsilon continuing to be the car that everybody loves. Viva Lancia!

This way of thinking is not postive for Lancia or the club.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 01 October, 2007, 04:49:39 PM
The reason I draw the analogy between Lancia and Porsche is to highlight one of first essentials of the auto-motive business. Survival. Whatever you may like to believe, emotion is no more than a fantasy world in which we, the owners of old cars bury ourselves. Modern managers harbour no such sentimentality. They are judged on performance and they pray each morning to the god who controls profit and market share. If they cry over an old car its because its been in stock more than thirty days.

In the middle 1970's Porsche built cars to very exacting standards, a very expensive business, as Fiat found out in 1969 with Lancia, worse, Californian restrictions and a lack of model range reduced sales to a point where disaster was iminent. In a desperate search for cash the Porsche designed but VW (Audi) powered 924 was introduced. Intended as an upmarket VW until at the last minute they cried off and Porsche badged it as one of their own and parked it in the showroom next to the 911.

Purists tried to lynch the company but the 924 sold like nothing before it, by 1981 one hundred and fifty thousand units had left the factory and the money was once again rolling in. With it Porsche developed the top end of the range to satisfy their 'real' customers, adding turbos and four wheel drive. It also paid the bill for the racing programme. Success on the track and great road cars bought renewed success. Sales took off again and, as they say, the rest is history.

Moral of the story. The Ypsilon may not be everybody's a idea of a proper Lancia but its their best seller, ever. Let's hope Fiat will allow them to keep the money and design an outragous range of new cars we can all be proud of driving.

PS. I remember reading in Viva Lancia a few months ago about a youngster who had just got a job working for Lancia in Turin. Does anybody have his name and phone number?     


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fensaddler on 01 October, 2007, 04:59:14 PM
Whilst bringing in a RHD Ypsilon would seem to be sensible business, given the car's success on the continent, I think the Delta will be crucial too - and the name is a positive, given its strong motorsport credentials.  The Delta pitches in that critical market segment against the BMW 1, Audi A3 and other prestige small family saloons, where there are a lot of buyers who won't even remember when Lancia was last here (it was 15 years ago...).  There is money in that segment, and it will be critical in establishing Lancia as a credible quality/upmarket player and not just a niche competitor in the mini luxury segment.  Moreover, I want a Lancia that fits my market segment, and the Delta is it - so as long as they don't do what is being threatened with the Alfa 147 replacement and pitch it over 20k, it'll be on my shopping list in Jan 09 when my foul, dull as ditchwater company BMW 118 gets handed in (I didn't choose it, I inherited it...).  But pricing will be critical - it will need to undercut the BMW and Audi to get established, so whilst it won't pitch at the same price as its Fiat equivalent, it shouldn't be light years beyond it - perhaps competing with the Golf.  I'd be interested to know where they are pitching on price on the continent - how big is the mark up from Fiat?


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: Scarpia on 01 October, 2007, 05:55:32 PM
agree with all of that.Pricing will be tough though.Give them away and you make no money but charge the real value e.g.thesis and people may not buy in any volume .

I just wish they would also do the fulvia .It has just as strong image as the delta (dare I say more) and looking at the sucess of things like the mini/fiat 500 and how many mx5's sell ,they hardly need to do major market research to decide if they can sell some.Make it also in a hard core minimal model that goes like...as for example the lotus elise and at an agressive pricing and bob's your uncle.Won't we all have big smiles then when clarkson puts it grudgingly on the cool wall.I know its as likely as President Bush saying that Ben Ladin justy had a "bad press" but I can dream can't I?


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 01 October, 2007, 06:13:12 PM
The key to success is control of residuals, nothing more and nothing less. Nobody can justify buying a car pitched against say a BMW or an Audi if it cannot match them both in quality and depreciation. Lancia have pulled out of Denmark for those very reasons.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fensaddler on 01 October, 2007, 07:40:55 PM
And in terms of residuals Lancia won't, at first.  We're effectively dealing with an unknown brand (Seat) or a tarnished one (Skoda).  Neither of these brands charge premium prices, though they are now able to sustain realistic prices.  Both now have good residuals, and both have credibility as brands, as well as being decent products.  Nine years ago, when I bought my first Seat, that was the very thing being questioned by those in the know (ie dealers trying to sell me other brands).  That's why I'm hopeful that they will go in as distinctive mid-market, with a view to premium pricing later.  I drive a BMW, and frankly I'm underwhelmed.  It has poverty spec kit, a dull cabin, no space, poor seats, looks bloody awful and attracts all the wrong sort of attention.  It really does not feel like its worth 20k - it does not feel 'special' and for a small family hatchback at that price it ought to.  Wonderful handling - well maybe but commuting into and out of Birmingham doesn't exactly give me much opportunity to use it, and my Leon felt just as sharp.  And with RWD, its a liability on snow and ice.  For me - Lancia have to do far better in terms of 'special', or I shall be looking at Alfas (probably the 147 since its within my corporate budget), the new Leon, perhaps a Honda Accord, and (titter ye not) a top end Octavia.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 01 October, 2007, 09:08:48 PM
You have just proved my point. The BMW 1 series suffers the worst depreciation in % terms of any current BMW because it is not perceived as a real BMW.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fensaddler on 02 October, 2007, 07:58:34 AM
I think its much simpler than that Peter.  Its overpriced, under-equipped, poorly packaged and ugly (that to me makes it a real BMW - aren't they the brand values?).  The only thing that helps maintain its value is the badge, and the routine fawning of the motoring press.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: Scarpia on 10 October, 2007, 05:17:13 PM
Peter,
Quote
PS. I remember reading in Viva Lancia a few months ago about a youngster who had just got a job working for Lancia in Turin. Does anybody have his name and phone number?     

don't know if you found it but the individual concerned was a Simon Bray.No contact details and the note appeared in march 07 VL (the one that features a fulvia saloon rather prominantly on the cover....)


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: Rodders on 10 October, 2007, 09:59:33 PM
Fulvia saloon?  Can't say I remember that one.....

Simon Bray is a Montecarlo owner and he has indeed obtained employment in Nirvana

Rodders


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fay66 on 10 October, 2007, 11:19:56 PM
Hi Rodders,
Must be your age, bit like mine ;D

Scarpia is perfectly correct, it's Peter & Lin Hon Baker with their Fulvia 2c on the finishing Ramp at Monte Carlo, after this year Monte Carlo Rally Historique. And what a magnificent effort it was. Nice to see a 2c Berlina competing as they were the first of the Fulvia's, I believe, to compete, but they were rapidly replaced by the coupe.

Must admit it had me thinking for a minute or two as I wasn't thinking about Peter & Lins car. In fact I had to have a look to remind myself. & me a 2c owner! :D

Brian Hilton
8227 8)


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: Scarpia on 11 October, 2007, 11:11:31 AM
If I'm not mistaken its a 67 2C.The article re awakened a long term sneaking desire to aquire a Fulvia saloon for rallying.Am I right in thinking the pre 68 is a basic criteria for many events and if so,what does the reader think is most interesting version in that light.( I think a 67 gt which I believe was just over 1200cc and 80 hp is a latest possible model with most power in standard form or was a 1300 90 hp gte already available then?).


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fensaddler on 11 October, 2007, 12:18:32 PM
I know that Peter and Lin's has been fitted with the 1.3 90hp engine at some point in its history, so it is quite potent.  Moreover, I know what Peter paid for the car, and he got an absolute bargain...


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fay66 on 11 October, 2007, 05:32:32 PM
If I'm not mistaken its a 67 2C.The article re awakened a long term sneaking desire to aquire a Fulvia saloon for rallying.Am I right in thinking the pre 68 is a basic criteria for many events and if so,what does the reader think is most interesting version in that light.( I think a 67 gt which I believe was just over 1200cc and 80 hp is a latest possible model with most power in standard form or was a 1300 90 hp gte already available then?).

Not really sure how you would stand on rallying, & I don't in what class etc Peter runs his 2c, but I believe FIA papers only covered early 2c pre 1966 cars, which had the 1091cc engine with column gearchange, the same as my 2c which was registered 1/1/1966, so it was obviously built in 1965, but with the factory records having been destroyed in a flood,  I don't know exactly when.
I first came across Peters car back in 1997 when it was part of Michael Newberry's collection & it was the major incentive for me to get into Fulvia 2c Berlina's. At the time it wasn't for sale & I bought a 1968 Fulvia Series 1 1.3 Rallye Coupe off of him.

The 1.3 engine I believe was fitted by Cessari Ferrari who eventually bought it off Michael, but it blew a hole in a piston, I had just had to have a rebore due to a ring breaking on my 2c, so I offered Cessari a couple of standard pistons, unfortunately it had already been rebored so they were of no use,  I think at that point a 1300cc engine was found & fitted.
 I don't know if a higher ratio diff was fitted also, but for anyone considering replacing a 1091cc with a 1300cc it would be worth doing as the 2c with the 1091cc engine is very low geared, about 15mph per 1000 rpm; while you wouldn't want to fit the higher ratio here, a friend in Holland (Where it's Flat ;D) has the higher ratio in his 1091cc 2c & it's a worthwhile improvement, so with a 1300cc engine fitted it would pull the revs down nicely.
I was also tempted to buy Peter's (as is now) as at the price it was going for at the time it would have been worth it for spares alone.
Photos are of Peter's 2c in 1997.

Brian Hilton
8227 8)


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 11 October, 2007, 06:08:38 PM
Come on chaps, lets tell everybody how much I paid for this little gem. 250. Thats right, including some road tax and nine months MOT. So apart from replacing the rear nearside floor area and sill, the speedometer (came from the USA thanks to Don Cross, shock absorbers (one broken, not worn out), the complete exhaust system, in stainless steel as the sedan as far as I am aware is not catered for, an exhaust manifold (perforation), fuel tank (also perforation), radiator, alternator, drive shaft, only one side, a re-wire of all lamps front and rear, strip down of both front doors to replace winder mechanics, front brake strip down and handbrake overhaul, and last but not least the very hard to find steering horn ring was broken. For a replacement I have to thank our very own Brian Hilton who donated the item foc to help me get the car 'back on the road'. Approx 2,500 so far, not including the respray it desperately needs. And that has nothing to do with rally prep or studded tyres. So she stands me in around 3,000 in round figures, but, hey, whose complaining.
For most FIVA, regularity events you can replace up to the class limit, ie in my case 1300cc. FIA is generally only concerned with stage events which is much more serious and people cry easier. The cut off date can vary but for UK events it is Dec 1967. An important note, cars manufactured after this date fall into 'post historic and are banned from night rallying because of the single choke per cylinder rule. If you need more info ring, fax or e-mail me, or Brian.  Oh yes, about that gearbox leak.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: DavidLaver on 11 October, 2007, 07:10:37 PM
Peter - did you ever rally an Appia?


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 11 October, 2007, 09:05:10 PM
Rather, all in the first series sedan, thanks to Don Cross and Tim Burrett. I have done two Marathons, including Germany, Denmark and Norway. The car has been to Italy twice. And Scotland for a round of the HRCR Championship. I think I have done a least five rallies in Wales including the Welsh Retro twice, and won a concour on the Tour of Cheshire. In 2004 I did the Le-Jog (Lands -End John O'Groats) but the gearbox went after twenty eight hours. The next year we finished without penalty and won a gold medal, the first Lancia ever to do so. The Appia 1st Series looks much better than its big brother and wins friends wherever it goes, which is more than I do! We also won the LMC Landmarks Rally run by Neil Lewis without loss of marks. I tried to enter the Monte Carlo Historic but surprisingly, an Appia never competed so my entry was turned down. In 2003 I put an entry in for the Mille Miglia but even though an Appia had won its class, in I think 1954, my entry fee was again returned. In spite of this public school attitude we tagged on the end and followed the event. The car has also ferried friends up Prescott and around Silverstone. Come to think of it we also did a Sliding Pillar Rally in Belgium and the Cirencester Economy Drive.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: fay66 on 12 October, 2007, 01:52:59 AM
Come on chaps, lets tell everybody how much I paid for this little gem. 250. Thats right, including some road tax and nine months MOT. So apart from replacing the rear nearside floor area and sill, the speedometer (came from the USA thanks to Don Cross, shock absorbers (one broken, not worn out), the complete exhaust system, in stainless steel as the sedan as far as I am aware is not catered for, an exhaust manifold (perforation), fuel tank (also perforation), radiator, alternator, drive shaft, only one side, a re-wire of all lamps front and rear, strip down of both front doors to replace winder mechanics, front brake strip down and handbrake overhaul.

Hi Peter,
So you managed to get the sunday off then ;D
If I'd have known I could have helped with the speedo as well, as I've got 3 spares (Courtesy of Mike Matthews about 10 years ago), give me a shout if you need anything, I just might have it!
Heavens alone knows where it had been in the 6 or so years since I had last seen it in excellent condition, & before it came into your hands 2 years ago ?, to get in that condition :'(

brian Hilton
8227 8)


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: DavidLaver on 12 October, 2007, 09:59:40 AM

How standard was the Appia?    Other than the gearbox any problems?  Was there an obvious cause of the gearbox problem?  ...other than a 'nut(ter) loose at the wheel'  ;D

Don't tell Mrs L, but am rather tempted by an S3 Appia :P, perhaps with a sport spec engine... :-*

I've read about the Fulvia adventures - are there back issues of Viva I should be digging out to read about the Appia?

Not sure what the proper use of all these little faces is but they looked cute enough. 

David


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: peterbaker on 12 October, 2007, 05:34:41 PM
I still have the Appia and any modifications are quite straightfoward. In true Lancia fashion it punches above its weight, but as standard it is not a fast car mustering only 38bhp. Don Cross came up with an improved inlet manifold that allows a Weber 28/36 to be fitted. This gives maybe another 5bhp, not much on paper but in percentage terms very effective. The suspension and braking is unmodified but an alternator is fitted to allow use of all accesories, lights, wipers and extra spotlamps for instance. Thats about it.
The secret is to have a championship winning navigator who can read the road. It takes a lot of confidence but once the trust factor is established high average speeds can be maintained.
My only non finish was through a broken gearbox, even though it had been rebuilt. These things happen.
Rallying is the natural extension to Lancia ownership.


Title: Re: Past Present and Future
Post by: DavidLaver on 12 October, 2007, 06:02:35 PM

Have had a couple of goes navigating and driven the Welsh Monte - a huge buzz right up there with racing the Aurelia on closed roads (Manx Classic).   

David