The Fiat Group has chosen to indefinitely postpone the relaunch of the luxury Lancia brand in the UK due to the current economic 'situation'. While this is bad news for Lancia devotees in right-hand-drive markets, Fiat has explained that work will continue behind the scenes with the intent being to revive the brand when the automotive market and the economy has strengthened.
In a recently released statement, Fiat said:
?Given the current global economic crisis, Fiat Auto has taken the decision to delay the reintroduction of the Lancia brand in right-hand-drive markets beyond 2009. Right now it would be ill-advised to commit to a date on any relaunch of Lancia in Britain."
Fiat felt that the new Lancia Delta was the wrong car for the moment. With the recession bug biting in Europe and the UK, it might not have taken Fiat long to arrive at that conclusion. Nevertheless, work is continuing on the brand for an eventual relaunch:
?Our work to prepare the ground for Lancia to come back won?t be wasted. We simply have to wait for things to get better.?
It's a sign of the times that automotive manufacturers are understandably nervous about dropping new products in struggling markets. Customers who were keen enough to put down a deposit on the Delta needn't be concerned though, as Fiat will be returning deposits in full. (Which is a better result than if they'd had the same funds deposited in the share market.)