It’s easy to be convinced by the Fiat-Chrysler group rhetoric about the future of brands, and what’s going on with badge engineering right now. Yes, we know that badging Chryslers as Lancias in Europe is an intermediary step. Yes, we know it’s needed to cover holes in the product portfolio. But at what cost to the brand? And why – if the company is going to pursue this – does it not have the confidence to bring the Lancia brand back to the UK? In a bizarre twist, the British market therefore gets a Chrsyler-badged Ypsilon. Confused yet? We are.
Lancia, like SAAB, has a small but loyal group of followers, to whom we suspect this will be a complete anathema. Brands can no longer pull the wool over the public’s eyes, and to attempt to do so risks doing untold damage to the brand. The 300C/Thema, we could perhaps just about have stomached. But a 200C, badged Flavia? It made some of the CDN team want to cry.