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Author Topic: April 21st FGA presentation  (Read 2755 times)
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toby2449
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« on: 21 April, 2010, 08:27:15 PM »


well guys, today was the day Sergio Merchoinne laid out the plans for every make under his control, sadly it wasn't great news for Lancia. Although the brand will remain in Europe, ( & not as feared just in Italy), the 2nd page of the presentation rules out a return to RHD markets...

It states "Chrysler fully integrated into Lancia(UK excepted)", which basically means the Chrysler brand i'd guess will be pulled from all European markets excluding UK & ROI, & because Chrysler will live on here, Lancia won't be coming back.

Lancia's future models consists of.....

new Ypsilon in 2011 (five door only i think)
New Delta (based on Compact platform - ie Alfa Guilietta) in 2012
New "c" saloon 2012 (based on Chrysler platform)
new "d" saloon (presume this replaces Thesis? - based on Chrysler platform) 2012
New Phedra to be based on Grand Voyager 2011
New SUV 2013, again based on Chrysler (probably Jeep) platform

nothing exciting though, no coupe (though no coupes' for Alfa either once the Brera is killed off)

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fensaddler
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« Reply #1 on: 21 April, 2010, 10:17:46 PM »

Still lunacy.  If they are going to sell under the Chrysler banner here, they still need RHD, so why not Lancia, which is surely a better brand?  Or is this just 'no RHD'?  And if so, we need to think hard about our future as a club for a relict marque (from Sunday's meeting, the Frazer Nash scenario...).  We'd also better hope the Alfa Giulietta is decent, because we're all going to need to drive something...
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #2 on: 22 April, 2010, 07:30:05 AM »

Still lunacy.  If they are going to sell under the Chrysler banner here, they still need RHD, so why not Lancia, which is surely a better brand?  Or is this just 'no RHD'?  And if so, we need to think hard about our future as a club for a relict marque (from Sunday's meeting, the Frazer Nash scenario...).  We'd also better hope the Alfa Giulietta is decent, because we're all going to need to drive something...

I was in Italy last month and I got a copy of Quattroruote. In there there is a long article saying that Marchionne thinks that in fact Alfa is the liability, and that he doesn't like any of their current range except the Giulietta (he is right about the 159, at least - that and the Brera are at least 300 kg too heavy). It says that Alfa is the marque that is in the bigger trouble.

Personally, I find that a bit mystifying, because although I am a Lancia man myself, they seem to at least have got Alfa marketing right, whereas what they are doing with the Lancia brand beggars belief. I don't know where to start, but lack of an 'image' car, lack of any coupes, lack of a 3-door hatch, lack of a hot hatch, lack of a 4x4 when they were the craze (they have missed the boat on that one now though!) seem just a few examples of the utterly breathtaking mismanagement that has brought them to the parlous state they are in.

And if they think that allying themselves with Chrysler is the answer, they have got another think coming. I am also a collector of American cars, and as I travel there a lot I can tell you that the image of Chrysler is even worse than that of Fiat, pre-500 (if possible!). Their build quality is catastrophic and their range of cars is underwhelming. So I think that hearing that Lancia are unlikely to try to market a brand of rebadged Chryslers as 'Lancias' (ha ha) in the UK can only be regarded as a good thing - they wouldn't sell whether they were RHD or LHD. Whether it bodes well for the future of the marque is another thing altogether. But I do know that the opinion in the industry is that no car company will be able to survive in future on under 6 million units a year, which was what was behind the Chrysler deal - it was an attempt to get into a mass market.

I just think it was the wrong one. I do not think the future looks at all rosy. To close, I saw a pic of a Fiat ad from the late 60s in France last week (I took a photo of it with my mobile, but I don't know how to get it onto the computer. If I manage, I will post it). It shows how Lancia should be marketing their cars, and what kind of cars they should be marketing. This French ad concentrates on all the chic 'image' cars and coupes that were on sale, and I remember visiting Paris in the early 70s and being struck by how many chic, well-off young women were driving Fiat coupes, and how many Fiat saloons were being sold on the back of that...

...but it appears that their marketing suits have forgotten that lesson...

Cheers

Alan   
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« Reply #3 on: 22 April, 2010, 08:35:43 AM »


So I think that hearing that Lancia are unlikely to try to market a brand of rebadged Chryslers as 'Lancias' (ha ha) in the UK can only be regarded as a good thing - they wouldn't sell whether they were RHD or LHD.


I agree with that!

Colin
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« Reply #4 on: 22 April, 2010, 10:53:42 AM »

It says that Alfa is the marque that is in the bigger trouble.

Personally, I find that a bit mystifying, because although I am a Lancia man myself, they seem to at least have got Alfa marketing right, whereas what they are doing with the Lancia brand beggars belief.

The problem FAG have corperately is the lack of return on the investment into Alfa Romeo. Remember AR is a completely seperate division (including design, manufacture and engineering) whereas Lancia is effectively only a styling division of Fiat. That Lancia is actually selling more cars than AR for what will be an investment probably orders of magnitude less over the last 10 years (new Alfas include 147, 156, 159, MITO etc) must be a serious embarassment for FAG.

His statement is to the market and the investors, and they don't come over all starry eyed with history and nostalga, they just want to know when they are going to get their investment back +20%. Alfa's performance is crippling that. The Lancia issue is just a side show, however much we may care.

There has been a rumour in the press recently the Montezemolo has/will step down as chairman of Fiat.
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« Reply #5 on: 22 April, 2010, 11:34:41 AM »

I got asked today whether Lancia was Italian ...
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Steve Pilgrim
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Neil
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« Reply #6 on: 22 April, 2010, 02:07:49 PM »

And today I was asked do they (Lancia) still make cars??!
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Neil   
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« Reply #7 on: 22 April, 2010, 03:30:31 PM »

We're all in Chris's bubble ...
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Regards,
Steve Pilgrim
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« Reply #8 on: 22 April, 2010, 08:57:30 PM »

Lancia is effectively only a styling division of Fiat. That Lancia is actually selling more cars than AR for what will be an investment probably orders of magnitude less over the last 10 years (new Alfas include 147, 156, 159, MITO etc) must be a serious embarassment for FAG.

I had indeed overlooked that, but it is depressing but true. I remember visiting Mirafiori on the 2006 centenary visit, and seeing Thesises (Theses...) and Alfa 166s going down the line. They were going down mixed in together, and the assembly bloke was just picking parts from different bins. All the hard points were the same though.

It's not that I think they are bad cars (my Kappa V6 is the nicest car I have ever owned or driven, bar none, and I would give my eye teeth for a Thesis). it's just that VW seem to manage a lot of platform- and part-sharing while conveying the illusion that they are making a wide range of completely different cars, whereas Fiat seem to manage the opposite - to make all their cars look depressingly similar even if there is a big price difference (cf. the dashboards on the Bravo and the Delta), whilst in reality they probably have less commonality between models than VW do (I certainly get that impression when I go to buy parts, anyway...).

Cheers

Alan
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« Reply #9 on: 22 April, 2010, 09:48:50 PM »

I'd agree very much with that analysis Alan. VW certainly seem to have cracked the thorny issue of platform sharing in the same county without cannibalising sales. The issue of badging them Chrysler in RHD countries (if it ever happens) and the US is probably a condition placed on Fiat for their investment and access to the Chrysler platforms and stateside manufacturing base. I can't believe Fiat (or Fiat UK) would come up with that one given a choice.

I think one of the driving forces the internet bewilderment and frustration with this decision (not that it ranks highly in the new companies problems) is the misconception that Fiat took over Chrysler. They didn't; they bought 20% of it and were allowed, by the other shareholders to manage it on their behalf. They are not by a long way the majority partner (that's the Autoworkers Union with 55%, and the US and Canadian government hold 10% but presumably much more parochial influence). Only until various conditions are satisfied, sometime after 2016, will they be able to ratchet their holding to over 50%. They have no mandate for the kind of dictatorial decisions we may think are obvious. Until they get to 51% its deals deals deals. I'm sure this is one of them.

Seems a bit of a mess, and I read today that Fiat are splitting off the industrial and agricultural side (which is highly profitable) from the automotive side. That will really put the focus on as there will be no hiding place for the poor performers now.
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« Reply #10 on: 22 April, 2010, 10:16:31 PM »

I'd imagine the profit for FGA is in Lancia (badge engineering to move the platforms up market and generate premium sales) and in small Fiats (especially the 500), again marketing to a premium market with that platform.  Alfa may be turning a profit with the Mito - they absolutely need to with the Giulietta.  And they need to cull their multiplicity of platforms, and the cars that simply aren't good enough (pretty, but not good enough - vide Brera and sadly, the lovely to look at but so-so to drive 159).  They are getting there, but as you say Neil, no place to hide now for the products and divisions that do more barking than shining...
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #11 on: 22 April, 2010, 11:24:23 PM »

The presentations are here.

The interesting thing from the 5 year plan is that over the period they don't see the rise in margin (from 1.8% to 5.1%) coming from growth but from synergies with Chrysler (to the tune of 1.5bn€). During this period they only see unit sales returning to where they were in 2007. Given that's their outlook it's not particularly surprising they're hardly busting their guts to open new markets. Looks like we may have to wait until 2016 at the earliest.
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« Reply #12 on: 23 April, 2010, 06:13:27 PM »

Dare I mention the crossfire platform (SLK... did it come with the deal???) Could make a nice Fulvieta...With lancia tweaks of course as the Crossfire itself is rubbish.

Tim
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« Reply #13 on: 23 April, 2010, 07:12:19 PM »

Sadly none of this is surprising. Lancia has never really recovered from their 'relegation' from being the sporting brand within FAG once Alfa was taken on board. It is a bitter pill that Alpha has swallowed up so much resource with little or no return. To me Fiat is one of the global brands that has really turned itself around. After all it's not long since they were knocking out awful cars like the Stilo. Now I fear that the Chrysler move could very much mirror the Lloyds-HBOS scenario, at least in the short to medium term.
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« Reply #14 on: 23 April, 2010, 07:42:59 PM »

Tim, I think the Crossfire was built by Karmann in Germany not in the US, now Karmann have gone out of business, but that could be a starting point for the Fulvietta with RWD!
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Neil   
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