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Author Topic: Past Present and Future  (Read 3736 times)
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Scarpia
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« on: 28 September, 2007, 06:12:58 PM »

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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.  
« Last Edit: 28 September, 2007, 06:16:46 PM by Scarpia » Logged
peterbaker
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« Reply #1 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.   
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1961 Lancia Flavia 1.5 Berlina. 2005 Lancia Ypsilon. 1954 Daimler Conquest. 2003 MG ZT-T 135. 1998 SAAB 9-3 Conv.
Betaboy2.0
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« Reply #2 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"
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l3hou
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« Reply #3 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)
« Last Edit: 29 September, 2007, 08:51:19 AM by l3hou » Logged
Scarpia
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« Reply #4 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.
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FanaloneMan
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« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: 01 October, 2007, 02:09:52 PM by FanaloneMan » Logged
peterbaker
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« Reply #6 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?     
« Last Edit: 01 October, 2007, 04:52:15 PM by peterbaker » Logged

1961 Lancia Flavia 1.5 Berlina. 2005 Lancia Ypsilon. 1954 Daimler Conquest. 2003 MG ZT-T 135. 1998 SAAB 9-3 Conv.
fensaddler
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« Reply #7 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?
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Chris Owen
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Scarpia
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« Reply #8 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?
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peterbaker
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« Reply #9 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.
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« Reply #10 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.
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Chris Owen
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peterbaker
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« Reply #11 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.
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« Reply #12 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.
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Chris Owen
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Scarpia
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« Reply #13 on: 10 October, 2007, 05:17:13 PM »

Peter,
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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....)
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Rodders
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« Reply #14 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
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