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Amidst the confirmation that chief executive Sergio Marchionne was splitting off the Dodge Ram truck unit into its own division of the Chrysler Group came the announcement of some executive re-shuffles in Auburn Hills. Among them, Lancia CEO Olivier Francois was appointed head of the Chrysler brand. But according to the latest reports, the sharing of a chief executive is only the tip of the North Atlantic iceberg for cooperation between the Chrysler and Lancia.
Long subsisting like it's the Plymouth of the Fiat Group, Lancia lacks a strong product portfolio. But while it isn't expected to join its sister brands in the transatlantic journey to the American market, the sharing and co-development of new products with Chrysler could get the quirky Fiat division back on track.

Among those products that stand to be shared between the two quasi-premium brands are the next-generation models of the Chrysler 300 (which could underpin a replacement for the discontinued Lancia Thesis), Chrysler Sebring, and Lancia Ypsilon hatchback.

Meanwhile, Francois, who joined Fiat in 2005 from his position as a regional manager for Citroën, is emerging as a rising star within both auto groups: his responsibilities now put him in charge of both Chrysler and Lancia, as well as marketing, advertising and branding for no less than nine brands: Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram. If it wasn't clear before, it's now plainly obvious who has replaced Luca de Meo as Marchionne's right hand man.

[Source: Automotive News – subs. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Coming soon: The 2010 Lancia Sebring!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why Lancia? There's NOTHING in that lineup (besides the Delta) that would help Chrysler!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lancia has an awesome MPV (the Phedra), a couple decent citycars (the Ypsilon and the Musa), and a flaghip (the Delta) which is pretty much a love-or-hate car, which isn't good for sales.

      Still, having sat into all of them in a showroom, I think American consumers won't be believing you can get such awesome interiors for the pricetag. The Musa with leather seats is the best place to sit into before heading to 40k € cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Phedra is the. Worst. European. Van. Ever.

        Sure the Eurovan II looks cool, it has some great details like lots of Alcantara, Suede, nice captain's chairs and a great 2.2l Peugeot Diesel engine. But build quality and reliability is still an issue. Luckily all the other cars built by Sevel, namely the Scudo/Jumpy/Expert van and the Ducato/Boxer/Jumper now have a very good reliability, are economic and versatile.

        It does not look better for the rest of the lineup: The Musa is a hotted up version of the Fiat Idea. This Musa and the Ypsilon are built on a more than 10 year old platform that underpinned the 1990s Fiat Punto. They should be replaces in the next two years to keep the lineup fresh.

        The new Delta actually is the only modern car. A good platform with a very long wheelbase, great engines and a gorgeous design. But unfortunately, being a on car brand in the medium term is not enough. Maybe even americans would buy a new Lancia Fulvia?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler is just getting less American. The only big three would be Ford, GM and Tesla.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lancia is to Fiat as De Soto was to Chrysler moreso than as Plymouth was to Chrysler. It's still an imperfect analogy, because De Soto was more high-end sporty, like a luxurious Dodge, while Lancia is generally more of a luxo-odd line except for the wild rally cars. Plymouth, however, was the "entry level" for Chrysler.
      • 5 Years Ago
      at this point in time for Chrysler any direction forward is a good direction in the right place lol....They can't get worst then they already got in terms of the current product portfolios lol..

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