2009 Lancia Delta – Click above for high-res image gallery
With the appointment of Lancia CEO Olivier Francois as head of the Chrysler motor division, we can expect the two companies to collaborate on future products and take advantage of economies of scale. With Lancia operating exclusively overseas and Chrysler primarily in North America, the two brands can share products without having to worry much about stepping on one another's toes. But while that cooperation is expected to manifest itself in new models that have to be developed, new reports suggest that the tie-in could begin a lot earlier than that.
Although there doesn't appear to be much to substantiate the claims beyond extrapolation and speculation, word on the Italian street is that the current Lancia Delta could make it over here – together with the Fiat 500 and a handful of Alfa Romeos – as a Chrysler. Although the quasi-premium hatchback has quirky styling, we've found the execution of Lancia interiors to be top-notch. Whether car buyers in America would be interested remains to be seen, but there could be a business case to be made for giving Chrysler a competitor to the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series without the cost and time involved in developing a new vehicle.