Lancia is moving fast towards its renaissance and its CEO, Luca Napolitano, has already set the targets for the Italian brand’s expansion. As he revealed to Automotive News Europe, Lancia will start selling cars outside its home market in 2024, while preparing a three-model range including the Ypsilon supermini, the Delta electric hatchback, and possibly the Aurelia electric compact crossover.
Lancia sales have been limited to the Italian market since 2017. This is going to change in 2024 with the brand’s expansion to Europe starting from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain, with the UK following in 2025. Additionally, starting from June 2023, the company will move from the current franchise model to a retail agent distribution model which means Lancia will be responsible for the inventory, making life easier for dealers.
Luca Napolitano envisions 100 dedicated showrooms in 60 European cities when the new plan is fully developed. Showrooms will have a small footprint of 80 to 140 square meters but will not be shared with other automakers. Lancia is expecting that half of its target group in the second part of the decade will prefer online sales, thus is changing its strategy towards them.
In terms of its future model range, Lancia is aiming at “a simplified product offering, with preset packages of options to streamline production and inventory”. Moving away from the aging Ypsilon, which was first introduced in 2011, the Italian company has optimistic plans for the next few years.
The first new model will be the new-generation Ypsilon, which is expected to arrive in 2024. The all-new supermini will ride on the STLA Small architecture, offered in EV and mild-hybrid ICE-powered variants. This means it will be both the first fully electric Lancia and the last with an internal combustion engine.
The second new model will be a fully electric compact crossover, scheduled for a market launch in 2026. It will be the first high-riding model bearing the Lancia emblem and the new flagship of the range. What is interesting is that it could be called the Aurelia, reviving a name that was used between 1950 and 1958 for a series of sedan, coupe, spider, and convertible models.
The next addition to the range will be the iconic Lancia Delta which has been confirmed to be revived as a fully electric compact hatchback. The new Delta will arrive in 2028, most likely based on the STLA Medium architecture.
Design veteran Jean-Pierre Ploue will be responsible for creating Lancia’s new design language which will be then implemented in all of the range. Despite sharing development with Alfa Romeo and DS for reducing costs, Lancia wants to “maximize differentiation” between Stellantis’ premium brands so we guess they will focus on styling. As described by Luca Napolitano: “Lancia will deliver an understated, clean Italian elegance, with soft surfaces and great quality”.
The aim of the brand is to change its target group with an even split between male and female, departing from the current strategy which has led to two-thirds of buyers being women. The average age is also set to change from the current 45 years old with no children in the household to 55 years old with at least one child. Since Lancia will have a full range of BEVs, Napolitano wants to attract buyers from the likes of Tesla, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz EQ range.
CEO Luca Napolitano and Lancia’s Head of Design Jean-Pierre Ploué.