Back in 2009, the Fiat and Chrysler alliance had revealed plans for the U.S. launch of a compact model based on the Lancia Delta in 2012 and a Chrysler-badged version of the Lancia Ypsilon in 2013.
Now it seems that the automaker has changed its strategy. At the New York Auto Show, Chrysler and Lancia brand president Olivier Francois told Car&Driver that the Ypsilon-based Chrysler model is dead for the U.S. as the company believes it is too similar with the Fiat 500, upon which the Lancia subcompact is based on, and could hurt its sales.
For the record, during a recent press event in Turin, Italy, a Lancia official told CoolPictures that the Ypsilon U.S. launch would largely depend on the market's response to the Fiat 500.
Another Lancia product that was also planned for North America is the Delta, showcased at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show with Chrysler badges. Although it was fairly well received by the American public and the company's strategy included a Chrysler-badged version of the Delta for the U.S., Olivier Francois now says the project is “under review” indefinitely (i.e. canceled until further notice).
However, it's possible that Dodge will get the car. Dodge brand president Ralph Gilles confirmed that his marque will definitely get a compact car to replace the Caliber, which could mean Chrysler will be left without the Delta. Gilles said that the Dodge compact sedan will be very fuel-efficient and that it will use Fiat-sourced four-cylinder engines.
By Dan Mihalascu