Welcome to Ridiculous Rebadges, a series of articles in which I go through and examine the details and circumstances surrounding some of the more infamous and some of the more esoteric vehicular rebadges throughout automotive history.
I apologize; I forgot who suggested this one! If it was you, please pipe up in the comments below ;)
Well, this is it; the death of another great brand. I’ve heard it a million times that GM didn’t kill Saab, they killed themselves, but let me phrase it this way: would you rather Saab had listened to GM and given us rebadged Vectras and gone bust anyway or have gone their own way as they did and tried to infuse as much Scandinavianess into the cars as they could before the end? I sure prefer the latter, but it looks like the opposite is what is happening to Lancia. Storied nameplates such as the Thema and the Flavia are now nothing more than Chrysler 200 and 300C’s, and the Voyager is a rebadge of the T&C.
Granted, these cars generally came with VM Motori diesels which were more practical and fuel efficient than the big V6 and V8s that we get in America, but in my opinion it somewhat detracts from the idea of having a big American convertible, saloon, or van. But don’t these cars already detract from the Lancia ideal of hand-crafted beauty, elegance, and rallying pedigree?
Still, it seems like a bit of a waste for FCA to get rid of Lancia. Sure, Alfa Romeo is meant to be the upscale executive brand and Lancia doesn’t have the greatest reputation in the UK, but it would have been a prime candidate to position as a Mercedes/Lexus fighter to Alfa Romeo’s BMW aspirations.
Goodbye Lancia, you will be missed.
“Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”