Remember Lancia? Exactly. The iconic 112-year-old marque that gave the rally world the Delta Integrale and Stratos is now merely a shadow of its former glory since it has been reduced to a one-market, one-model brand. The only car available in its "portfolio" is the Ypsilon, a Fiat Panda-based supermini that has been around since 2011 and can be purchased only at home in Italy.
You'd think what with all the investments FCA has made into Alfa Romeo it would surely outsell Lancia in the European Union? To our surprise, it's not. Sales figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) are showing Alfa moved 27,702 cars in the E.U. in the first half of 2019 whereas Lancia bundled together with Chrysler shipped 34,767 cars. Take the Chrysler part out of the equation and you end up with 34,700 as per an official press release from Lancia we've attached at the bottom.
It's surprising not just because FCA has poured a lot of money into the Giorgio platform for the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, but also because Alfa Romeo has a few other models in its lineup: 4C, MiTo, and Giulietta. Yes, these three are all getting a bit long in the tooth, but including the Giulia and Stelvio, it's still five models compared to Lancia's one.
It goes without saying Alfa Romeo probably has better profit margins for its two newest models compared to the aging Ypsilon, but the fact that Lancia sold more cars in the E.U. is still somewhat baffling.
The folks over at Fiat Group World, a "non-official site for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles" made this discovery and explained Lancia boosted its sales in H1 2019 by offering some attractive deals for the Ypsilon to lure in buyers in Italy – a country known for having a soft spot for small cars. As for Alfa Romeo, the Giulia and Stelvio are facing some strong rivals while the other three models have been around for too long in a competitive market.
If there's a silver lining for Alfa Romeo, the Tonale compact crossover (pictured above) could provide the company with a sales boost once it will be launched at some point in 2020. The company's product roadmap until 2022 also includes a midsize SUV and the revival of the GTV and 8C sports cars. In addition, the Giulia and Stelvio will go through mid-cycle refreshes and spawn long-wheelbase derivatives.
As for Lancia, FCA hasn't said a word about whether there will be some changes or it will soldier on with the Ypsilon exclusively for Italy.