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Author Topic: Lancia Sales...  (Read 6010 times)
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Kevin MacBride
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« Reply #15 on: 30 November, 2007, 01:15:13 PM »

Maybe I should also point out, my first Lancia was a 2000, my second a Beta, my third a Delta, my forth a Delta and my last one a Thema. My first Fiat was a 3p, my second a 131, a selection of Lancias as listed followed, then a Scudo, a Stilo, another Stilo, a 156, a Ulysse, followed by the earlier Multipla and finally a later Multipla. Next year who knows...the missus drove my Thema till it was stolen and burnt out, followed by 2 156's. My 3 1/2 year old drives a little Fiat 500 powered by pedals (friendly to the enviroment). And yes I also own a Fiat Ducato and finally, the only 'foreign' car I've ever had a 1967 Volvo Amazon which I've had for years. I've sold tens of thousands of parts over the past 30 years to help people who own Fiats, Lancias, or Alfas so they could keep them on the road. If that makes me an old fogey so be it, but I've also had to listen to 30 years of complaints about the previous mentioned make of cars which I think gives me a better insight than most of what Joe Public, old or new thinks of said Italian product. The reason I bought a B20 is because I WANTED one, and believe me, nobody buys a B20 for the hell of it.
I remember stocking and selling dozens of door handles for Dedras 'cos they were made of rubbish plactic and broke as soon as they were opened. Years later I'm doing the same with Grande Puntos. If Fiat wants to sell a quality Marque which I believe Lancia is they need to do it properly, or as I've said before, they will ruin its identity. Prove me wrong by all means, I dont care, I'll still sell the parts.....
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« Reply #16 on: 30 November, 2007, 05:30:24 PM »

Kevin - you're right - if Fiat want a quality brand the products have to live up to that.  I sense on recent products they are getting there (the new 500 looked wonderful close up, and all the trim and fit seemed to be top notch when I crawled all over one recently) - and recent Lancia products that I've seen, primarily several Ypsi's, seem equally well screwed together.  Anyway, I shall find out soon enough, when I get my new Delta...
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #17 on: 01 December, 2007, 08:58:14 AM »

Kevin,

the reference to O fogey was not aimed as a description of you but was an allusion to a similar debate and uproar in the club resulting from a fairly innocent seeming article in VL last year penned by a member under that name. It basically suggested that after borrowing an Ypsilon, the author found it disappointing and that modern cars were not really Lancias but rebadge fiats. (or words to that effect)
It upset a few elements in the club and caused let us say a tsunami to roll through the organisation. Your pre fiat /post fiat comments merely remind one of the debate, hence Neils kind offer of the tin helmet..

Your right in your comments about quality of fitments and etc, when I collected our top spec new Kappa estate, within 2 miles of the garage both rear courtesy lamps had fallen out of the roof lining and were swinging by their wires from the roof... Otherwise it was a good car.
We had two 320 BMW estates in the same period. the petrol one had 3 engines in the first 2 years of ownership.My Peugeot 607 had an emission system that shut down the engine to max 40 mph when it needed replacing. The car was in the garage for 7 weeks before Peugeot mechanics from Paris finally replaced the whole system because no body could reset the engine management.My espace had a new engine and gearbox at 65K miles.

The point is; your right about stupid quality failures and recalls etc but the other makes have the same issues. Its just that they manage the bad news much more astutely and their brand name is currently more resilient. 
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Peter W
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« Reply #18 on: 01 December, 2007, 02:19:44 PM »

If Lancia are going to succeed in the UK they will have to improve their after sales support.  Have had my Kappa Coupe for 6 years now and the odd parts needed had been supplied within a week (eg headlamp, exhaust system) but 4 months ago the remote locking button on the second of the keys failed (the first one failed 2 years previously).  On attemping to order replacement keys, I was told that they were only available with a new sensor unit which was duly ordered, provided I paid a £250 deposit, in early August and I am still waiting! I keep being told that they are on back order but each promise date comes and goes. Fortunately it does not preclude me from using the car but I have had to switch off the alarm.  Doesn't bode well.

Peter
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« Reply #19 on: 01 December, 2007, 09:47:11 PM »


ah Kevin, good to see you on this forum aswell, are you follwing me?? Grin BTW guys for anyone in ireland who wants parts i'd highly recommend kevin!

But back to the issue at hand. i started this topic with just the intention of pointing out that with a limited range they are actually doing quite well with what are esentially rebadged Fiats (or if you take the Phedra, a rebadged Fiat, Peugeot, & Citroen!) I believe lancia can come back strong with the new Delta, too much rests on this model for Fiat to mess it up. If its as good as the Bravo its based on it'll be a cracking car, i drove a Bravo and was blown away by it (it was the sporty version) though i didn't like its steering at all.

Fiat have to get their public image back on track though. All makes have quality woes from time to time, every make have recalls (even Lexus & Toyota) but Fiat need to do their PR  better. Too often do i hear people who say they'd never touch a Fiat or Alfa, & when i say to people i fully intend buying a new Lancia Delta they think i'm mad! But i'm not, i'm simply passionate about cars, & passion for cars for me means Italian. I've owned 3 Fiats, 2 Alfas & one Lancia & they've never let me down, i've never been stranded by one, never had trim fall off etc...

C'mon Fiat, give us something to be proud of! Give us a Delta worth owning, give us Lancia's that are more than re-badged Fiats, and for the love of God, hire better marketing people!
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Kevin MacBride
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« Reply #20 on: 02 December, 2007, 11:43:38 PM »

I was at a Christmas party today, in a hotel room full of screaming kids, a bouncy castle, train kind of thing, loud DJ's, Santa and his helpers plus face painters galore, so as we say over here 'Me head is wrecked'.
Time for one last rant....
Way back when, we used to sell loads of window regs for 127's. Hundreds of the things. They were a kind of wire arrangement that fitted around pulleys and were held in place ( before fitting ) by a little metal clip. The idea was, you fitted the wire around the pullys, then, and only then removed the clip. The clock spring took over and the wire tensioned. Remove the clip at the wrong time.....PAIN. We told customers, time and time again, PLEASE for the love of God, dont remove the clip till its been fitted. The following day the customer would return with blooded fingers, cursing FIAT and everything it stood for.
The Regata, a nice car in my opinion. It had a wierd pully/quadrant type of clutch cable. It followed a route from the pedal across the back of the exhaust downpipe to the pully which sent it at a 90 degree angle to the clutch fork. It always broke, regardless of what, or of how careful you fitted it. When we mentioned it to Fiat as a bad design, they said. 'We have had no problems with clutch cables breaking, the cables you speak of account of such a small percentage of the total cables sold, so as to render NO PROBLEM' In other words, the amount of RHD cables made meant nothing to them in a LHD market. The LHD cables never broke because they simply ran in a straight line from the pedal to the gearbox.
In the Selespeed 156, Clutchs began slipping or not engaging properly. Fiat saw the problem and made a new improved clutch, to be used with a new ECU. When you ordered the old clutch part number the system to you to order a new clutch part number, plus an ECU part number. However if you order the NEW clutch part number it did not tell you to also order an ECU. Can you see the problem. Fiat couldn't, and blamed us for not fitting the parts correctly after customers complained of clutchs slipping. In fact in some cases, Fiat told us to fit new gearboxes, or clutch actuators, which in a Selespeed, cost more then a G'box.
Recently we had an Italian over to ask why were were not selling enough spare part. We pointed out that one of the biggest motorfactors in the country was next door to us, and that we could not compete. He told us to tell our customers we were selling genuine parts. We told him, so are the motorfactors. Open a Fiat clutch for example, its most likely a Bork and Beck, or a Valeo. It does not need Fiat to be written on it to make it genuine.
Years ago Fiat made a car that cut out when it came to a halt (intentionally). When you pressed the clutch ( providing the cable did not break ) it started again. The also make a biofuel car (Punto), an electric car (Seicento) and years ago make a dual fuel cars ( Beta ) and the Regata. Does anybody know this, does anybody care ?  Each time a Ferrari ( with a Fiat badge ) won a race they should have shouted from the highest hills.
Fiat do have a good product, but they have no idea how to convince people to buy it. The Ducato van came out first in 1983 or therabouts. Now, all these years later it is the best selling, and most wanted van in Europe  WHY. Every campervan you see ling the roads every year at the Tour de France is most likely a Ducato,  WHY.   
End of Rant....but one more thing, in Ireland Vehicle Registration Tax can be up to 30% depending on the engine size. With a budget coming in the next few days, its to change, but it probably will not decrease. Lancias better be CHEAP.

Oh and no, I was not offended by the 'Old Fogey' thing, but I may still need the helmet. What the hell were Lancia thinking about when they didn't put a syncro on 1st gear of an Aurelia. And as for the design of the propshaft.......
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« Reply #21 on: 04 December, 2007, 08:58:15 AM »

Hi Kevin,

It's not just 'the luck of the Irish', as we in SA haven't had a 'proper' Lancia agency for yonks, so it looks like we've been spared a lot of agony! 

But I do remember when we did in the 1980s, when I bought a brand new Lancia from them (a Montecarlo), and regularly spent a large chunk of my salary at their spares department on behalf of my older cars, that I was never made to feel like a valued client.  To my knowledge the old bloke who owned the place never greeted anyone, and often asked the Head of Spares (in my presence, while gesturing at other customers on the showroom floor), "Who's that bloke?" in a rather suspicious and disdainful manner.  (Not that he ever went up and spoke to them, mind you, he just wanted to know who was "in the house"!)

Earlier this year I had lunch with someone with impeccable connections in the Fiat and Lancia heirarchies, and when queried about Fiat's management, he said that their biggest problem is "arrogance", and he's Italian himself.  Without wanting to offend Italians in general (remember, it's the parent company Fiat we're talking of), I have to say I agree with him.  Their attitude often seems to be one of "you need us more than we need you".  One would think that the flood of red ink on their books over the past few years would have taught them a lesson...

In my experience, the young guys out here who work the spares counters nowadays are little more than 'computer jockeys' - if it's not on the system, they can't find it / don't know what it is.  They have no first hand knowledge of cars.  To illustrate the point, I took my HPE Lancia petrol cap to our local Alfa agent because it's the same as an Alfa part.  The counter clerk says, "What car's that from?"  "You tell me" I replied, not daring to mention the L word, and that's where it ended, with a No Sale. 

The same Alfa agent insisted that I had to buy the entire dipstick for a Uno Turbo, just to get the little grommet that is also common to the Beta model's dipsticks, although I got those 2 weeks later for about 3 Euros each from a Fiat dealer after I stood behind the counter and showed him the part on the computer screen.  In stark contrast, the Head of Lancia Spares in SA I mentioned earlier, used to be able to look at a sample and recite the part number from memory, but nowadays he's working in a casino servicing slot machines and roulette tables...

Fiat also need to drop their myopic view of looking at their domestic market, and think internationally.  They need RHD models more than we need them.

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Guy McDougall
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« Reply #22 on: 04 December, 2007, 01:15:32 PM »


i think you'll find though, the lack of knowledge of people in dealerships is an industry wide problem, and not confined to the Fiat Group
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« Reply #23 on: 04 December, 2007, 08:28:18 PM »

Reading all these comments makes me feel lucky that I have found a FIAT dealer who I cannot find fault with.  I have been dealing with County Motors in Carlisle for about nine years now and I always feel that they cannot do enough for you.  Even when I have to phone them (which is not very often), they immediately know who I am, and always speak to me on first name terms.  Whenever ordering parts for my Lybra, there has never been a problem.  The longest I have ever had to wait for a part is only a few days.  I only hope that they get Lancia when they return as I will definitely be dealing with them for many years!  Grin
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #24 on: 04 December, 2007, 08:47:17 PM »

I didn't think that any Fiat dealers were going to get Lancia franchises, only the selected Alfa outlets will get Lancia 'boutiques'.  In some cases, as Stu points out, that's a shame.  Our local Fiat dealer (Vickers in Telford) has been really helpful with the Ypsilon, sorting out the knackered CV joint in double quick time time for Bristol last April.  I've not heard good things about the existing regional Alfa dealers, but we have a new one in Shrewsbury (Budgen's ex-Peugeot) who might be better.

Don't get me started on Mercedes-Benz dealers  Angry
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« Reply #25 on: 04 December, 2007, 09:43:57 PM »

I think you'll find there will be a few "new" Alfa dealers even HR Owen have started one in London
I believe
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« Reply #26 on: 05 December, 2007, 05:03:50 AM »


i think you'll find though, the lack of knowledge of people in dealerships is an industry wide problem, and not confined to the Fiat Group

That’s true – for example, Renault Meganes have a particularly dreadful reputation down here, where it seems as soon as the odometer reaches 100,000 km, the ‘wheels start falling off’, the agents don’t want to fix them, and the spares (scarcely available) cost a fortune.

It’s not a generational issue that can be blamed on the ‘youth of today’.  Wink If  manufacturers are going to build cars which are more complicated than a space shuttle, they better train up some rocket scientists if they are going to maintain them.

But the bottom line is that when it comes to maintaining a car for more than 3 to 5 years, most manufacturers' attitude is “Screw it, let’s NOT do it”.  (Apologies to Sir Richard Branson.)  Let’s face it, the modern car is a disposable, recyclable commodity.  Don’t fix it, just buy a new one.

Unfortunately the ineptitude of the staff at other marques is cold comfort to me as I only drive Lancias, so I guess a good reason for not buying another new Fiat product would be to spread my risk…


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Guy McDougall
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« Reply #27 on: 05 December, 2007, 09:51:48 AM »

Reading all these comments makes me feel lucky that I have found a FIAT dealer who I cannot find fault with.  I have been dealing with County Motors in Carlisle for about nine years now and I always feel that they cannot do enough for you.  Even when I have to phone them (which is not very often), they immediately know who I am, and always speak to me on first name terms.  Whenever ordering parts for my Lybra, there has never been a problem.  The longest I have ever had to wait for a part is only a few days.  I only hope that they get Lancia when they return as I will definitely be dealing with them for many years!  Grin

Lemme guess Stu.  County Motors in Carlisle is probably a small, family-run business without a ‘boutique’, and all that ‘brand building’ hype?  Fiat, “people buy from people”, and it’s good products and good people that mostly makes a successful marque.

W.O. Weernink in “La Lancia” (3rd Edition) rates the Lybra as “…the best Lancia ever produced in terms of quality and reliability, as well as classic Italian styling.”  So it sounds like you won’t be needing many spares anyway. You are doubly blessed!  The closest I’ve ever been to a Lybra was in Greece while on holiday, where I spotted a lovely station wagon on the island of Aegina.  Roll Eyes
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Guy McDougall
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« Reply #28 on: 05 December, 2007, 03:26:48 PM »

Hi Guy,

You are partly right about my Fiat dealers.  They are a small dealership in that they only have two branches.  They have been around for over 30 years and started selling Fiat and Alfa Romeo about 13 years ago.  Prior to that, they sold Austin Rover based cars and Daihatsu.  The company also owns a major truck servicing business and one of the main motor factors in and around Carlisle.  I think it is due to their background that they are so good.  Also, many of their employees are enthusiasts.  I was told that the first time I took the Lybra there (and also my Fulvia), all the mechanics were arguing over who was going to work on it, such is the enthusiasm!  If only all Fiat and Alfa dealers were like this  Roll Eyes

What you have read in "La Lancia" about the Lybra is quite right!  As far as I am concerned, it is the best modern car I have ever owned.  I have previously had a Y10, Fiat Uno MK2, Bravo MK1, and an Alfa 156.  I don't care what people say in the "true Lancia" arguement, the Lybra is definitely a true Lancia at heart, and it is the perfect car to own alongside the Fulvia!  After four years of ownership, it still puts a smile on my face everytime I drive it.  Smiley
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #29 on: 06 December, 2007, 05:38:49 AM »

I don't care what people say in the "true Lancia" arguement, the Lybra is definitely a true Lancia at heart, and it is the perfect car to own alongside the Fulvia!  After four years of ownership, it still puts a smile on my face everytime I drive it.  Smiley

Wot, "Is this the right room for an argument?" (Again.)  Roll Eyes

It's really time people put this "true Lancia" thing behind them. All it does is cause trouble...  Sad
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Guy McDougall
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Appia Coupé S3 (Rosina), Appia Berlina S3 (La Giaconda), Fulvia 1.3S 5 spd coupé (Tigger, belongs to Carol), Beta Spyder S2 (Vivaldi), Montecarlo Spyder S2, HPE VX (Pugsly) etc
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