Lancia’s illustrious history needs no introduction. The Italian brand has produced some legendary cars over the years, including the Lancia Delta Integrale, Stratos, Fulvia and even the Thema 8,32 is worth an honorary mention here.
Sadly the marque is currently a shadow of its former self, with the model range having been whittled down to just a single (and somewhat outdated) city hatchback called the Ypsilon, but there is hope on the horizon. The first signs of this came earlier this year following the formation of parent company Stellantis, when it was announced that Lancia would benefit from increased investment as well as a new CEO in the form of Luca Napolitano.
And now, in the biggest piece of evidence that Lancia will expand beyond its current single-model range, Stellantis has announced that its Chief Design Officer Jean-Pierre Ploué will “personally supervise” Lancia’s design future.
“Lancia renaissance is a truly exciting challenge,” Ploué said. “Lancia is an iconic brand, which will be restored to its central historical position in Europe, leveraging on its huge potential.’’
The company said the design chief will be assisted by a “lean and focused” team, rallied around young and talented designers.
Just to whet our appetites, Lancia is planning to broadcast a documentary this coming Thursday (17 June) at 11am, in which CEO Napolitano will talk about the company’s ‘timeless design’ history. You can watch it here.
Of course, no product revival will be possible without investment, and it appears as if Lancia will receive its fair share of that in the coming years. Back in March John Elcann, who led PSA into the Stellantis merger, stated that Lancia along with its Italian sister brand Alfa Romeo would have greatly improved prospects within the newly formed auto giant.
“We’ve seen it clearly with some brands like Alfa Romeo and Lancia, on which we could not invest or give resources as much as we wanted in recent years. In this new group there will be much greater opportunities than in the past for these two brands,” Elkann said.
Lancia, along with Alfa Romeo and French brand DS, have been classified among the Stellantis Group’s ‘Premium’ brands.