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Author Topic: what chance a return now?  (Read 3298 times)
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toby2449
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« on: 21 November, 2008, 12:28:58 PM »


well as we're all aware the motor industry is in crisis, companies who have made vast sums of money over the last decade or so as more & more cars were being sold, are now crying out for government help (witness America's big 3, what odds on one of them going under).

Now Fiat's management have reviewed the introduction of Alfa into the USA (in my opinion the correct thing to do when a market is in freefall!), Alfa now won't return until 2011 at the earliest.

So, begs the question, although Lancia's Delta is proving a big hit, & Lancia is one of very few marques who has seen sales increase last month, will Fiat pull the plug on Lancia's return to UK & Ireland?? I hope not, but i fear the worst! All of me wants Lancia back, but part of me says with things as bad as they are, & according to what we all hear 2009 will be even worse, should Fiat put Lancia's comeback on hold?
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Philm
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« Reply #1 on: 21 November, 2008, 01:24:31 PM »

Depends on how many RHD cars are already built and how heavily staffed the production line is
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Harvey
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« Reply #2 on: 21 November, 2008, 01:37:56 PM »

I seem to remember that production of RHD was due to start this month, so if they took a view in October, it might well be the case that they've got it all on hold and news hasn't surfaced yet. I really hope not, but I acknowledge that's a selfish point of view (I want a new Delta in RHD) and I'd rather the company remained in good shape. After all, we can always import a LHD car (and hopefully get the RHD headlights).

Lancia bucked the trend in sales probably due to a low base position and the expansion of the model range (rather than a replacement of an existing model). There didn't seem to be much room for cheer in the figures overall, and I suspect the premium car manufacturers to suffer worse than the mainstream. Anyone for a Tata Nano?
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fensaddler
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« Reply #3 on: 21 November, 2008, 03:13:42 PM »

There were a lot of straws in the wind at the NEC show, surrounding the presence of the new Delta, and many of them were not positive.  I can't vouch for the quality of the information, it came from various sources - and I'm mindful of not betraying confidences (if those who told me some of this stuff feel more confident about being a little less circumspect, then please add on your piece of the jigsaw).  However, it would appear that far from RHD production having started, there is no evidence from parts suppliers that serious preparations are yet being made for this.

Moreover, there appear to be real problems, still, in signing up willing Alfa dealers over here, to the point where it looks unlikely there will be a viable dealer network in place for July.  Whether the caution is with Lancia Italy, or with Fiat UK, or with the dealers themselves, is difficult to discern, but it does appear clear that the appetite of UK Alfa dealers to take on a new brand, which was pretty lukewarm a year ago (not least because it involved actually sorting out their quality and customer service properly, if I'm to make a cynical observation), is downright frosty now that they are looking at 30-40% falls in sales volumes.  What they haven't factored in, clearly, is that the one way to tackle those sales volumes is to offer new products - they are keen enough on the Mito, but the Delta, despite its performance in mainland Europe, appears to be a bridge too far.  Shortsighted in my view, but difficult to do much about, unless Lancia decide to sell cars directly and bypass a dealer sales network entirely.

So if I'm to make a forecast based on what I have picked up over the last weekend, I would say we'll see the 149 before we see the Delta in RHD, and if we see Lancia back in the UK at all, it might now be when the new Ypsi is launched in 2010.  However, I wouldn't put it past the powers that be still not to have resolved the dealer network issue by then, despite working on it for three years, and to contrive to find another set of reasons why it would be better to wait - again.

When, many months ago, it became clear that the Delta wouldn't be here now, but would be delayed until July 09, I wrote a bitter revision of Betjeman's 'come friendly bombs and fall on Slough' so annoyed was I that the Delta would miss my company car replacement schedule.  Now, having worked with my employers to rejig things to wait for the Delta, it looks as though I'm thwarted again, and someone else will be getting the sale.  And I think its time to revisit the poetry, because if truth be told, I probably wasn't harsh enough.

Lancia back in the UK?  I think we'd best not hold our breath.
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #4 on: 21 November, 2008, 03:14:03 PM »

I have been with an Alfa stand alone dealer who actually has a new Mito for viewing in his Cheltenham showroom and the rumour is, no lancia
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Scarpia
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« Reply #5 on: 21 November, 2008, 04:31:00 PM »

there are deltas in showrooms all over in belgium but I have only seen 2 on the road (and I think one of those was a test drive car). Must say, I'm increasingly liking the look and need to choose a new lease car soon so if the budget works there may be 3 on the road in belgium soon.... Cool. (sorry fensaddler for rubbing salt in the proverbial...)
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fay66
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« Reply #6 on: 21 November, 2008, 06:28:04 PM »

Unless the new Delta is sold as a direct sale niche model in the UK at present, I think it would be a serious mistake, no matter how much we would like it to be so to bring Lancia back, the market & the state of the economy, are just not right to take such a chance at present.
I was also disturbed to hear from a friend in Holland that it is already being discounted there, Sad not a good sign at all.

Brian
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fensaddler
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« Reply #7 on: 21 November, 2008, 10:35:53 PM »

I refer my honourable friends to the message on the Lancia cars seen thread.  It appears RHD cars do exist - which is why I'm glad of the 'I don't know how much of this is accurate' caveat I put on my earlier posting.  So they can build them, they've just got to work out how to sell them...
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #8 on: 22 November, 2008, 11:16:19 AM »

See Lancia on the road latest, a RHD spotted on the Motorway Grin

Brian
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« Reply #9 on: 24 November, 2008, 06:59:34 AM »

The word on our African streets is that the Delta will probably only be coming here on special import until econonic climates improve.   Sad
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Guy McDougall
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toby2449
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« Reply #10 on: 01 December, 2008, 04:19:09 PM »


well sadly, its official guys....

"The economic crisis has forced Fiat to delay next year's launch. Bosses say Lancia will reach the UK 'beyond 2009'."
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Harvey
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« Reply #11 on: 01 December, 2008, 04:30:26 PM »

Let's have a sweepstake - when will Lancia return to the UK with official sales and RHD? Just for the fun of it...

My entry is Monday 31st May 2010
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ncundy
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« Reply #12 on: 01 December, 2008, 05:00:04 PM »

I think one of the problems FIAT now have is the product life cycle. By delaying the introduction of the Delta to say 2010 at the earliest, they are getting on to half way through the typical life cycle of the first incarnation of a new model. From a timing point of view that is not particularly attractive to the dealers I wouldn't imagine. So I will go for the facelift / new model juncture - 2012 - with a new Fulvia in time for the Fulvia 50 !
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Harvey
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« Reply #13 on: 01 December, 2008, 05:22:33 PM »

Yes, what I meant to put was my guess is "1st June in 20xx" where xx represents an integer exceeding 09...  Sad
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fensaddler
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« Reply #14 on: 01 December, 2008, 09:14:55 PM »

I'd vote for never, but i would never get a payout.  The rationale for 2012 is one that has crossed my mind too - however, my best bet would be alongside the Ypsi in 2010, or whenever that gets here (probably 2012 given Lancia's form on this).  Saw an Octavia vRS in the centre of Southampton today and that looked a mighty motor car...
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Chris Owen
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