Chrysler-badged LanciaEnlarge Photo
Chrysler-branded Lancia Delta live at the 2010 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
The first step toward Chrysler's integration with Lancia, and one of the first symbolic steps of Fiat's integration with Chrysler, is the Chrysler-branded Lancia Delta on display at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show today. The car doesn't look much changed aside from a new grille and some Chrysler badges, and it's not.
As the first Lancia model to make the transatlantic crossing, the Chrysler Delta is unlikely to get significant changes from its Lancia roots. Instead, it will be expected to fill out Chrysler's struggling lineup, slotting in as a hatchback alternative to the Sebring. It's certainly more attractive with its Italian curves, but will Americans warm to a Fiat-built Chrysler?
More models are expected to come to Chrysler via Lancia. In fact, Marchionne sees Chrysler as the future of Lancia. As he said during an interview late last year, "We need to be very careful that we don't destroy Lancia's roots, to find a way to preserve the identity of Lancia through an agreement that commonizes as much of the portfolio as possible [with Chrysler]".
Alfa Romeo cars will also likely see sale in the U.S. as Chryslers, though that brand could be forced to stand on its own merits if integration with Chrysler product planning proves impossible.