The first industrial and product plan of Stellantis is expected by the summer, but in the meantime something is starting to move in the management of the fourteen (fifteen including Vauxhall) brands of the Group that are the children of the merger between FCA and PSA. The American side has recently announced the closure of the SRT – Street & Racing Technology – division dedicated to the high-performance versions of the Dodge brand, which also has a rather obsolete product portfolio. Known especially among enthusiasts, the SRT models have cleared up stratospheric powers under the hood of models that are all in all popular, such as the 840 HP Challenger Demon (the only production car in the world capable of raising the front wheels when starting) or the Charger Redeye. from 797 hp. From now on, however, the SRT specialists will continue their work within a broader structure and in synergy with all the other brands.
“All the fundamental elements of the SRT engineering team have been integrated into the global organization of our company”
they did know from Auburn Hills. From the Turin offices, however, Luca Napolitano spoke about the future of Lancia – during a virtual round table with the Italian press – and immediately stated how premature it was to talk about plans. However, the new CEO of the Piedmontese brand explained how strategic his role is “Lancia finally has its own boss within the group of top executives of Stellantis one of its bosses; it is a very strong indication of intent ”. Then Napolitano spoke about the identity of the brand “The brand does not identify with today’s Ypsilon, otherwise it would have been included in the ‘core’ cluster, together with Citroën and Fiat, while it is positioned in the ‘premium’ one with a DS and Alfa, the which is a good signal on future prospects “.
“I am a car enthusiast and I have also worked in Lancia. So I have a number of ideas, which I can’t reveal yet. What I can say is that the customer of the near future will not be the simple evolution of today’s one, who is 75% women and buys machines under four meters. Considering that 10% of them change cars every year and half are loyal to the Lancia brand, it is clear that this is a heritage not to be wasted. But we understand that the customer of the brand we imagine, who will have to be credible in the premium market, will be partly different. all this will be reflected in the positioning of the next products “explained Napolitano who then talks about the foreign ambitions of the Lancia” It is not true that outside Italy nobody knows it, there are markets on which it has done very well, I am thinking of France, Belgium and Greece. Then you have to see how to go abroad, maybe it can be done with unconventional sales methods “.
Napolitano then returned to the positioning of the Lancia brand within Stellantis. “If we are located close to Alfa and DS, we will do something together with them. And if we look at their respective positions, I think Lancia can find his with ease.
Simplifying, if Alfa is performance and sportiness and DS the Louis Vuitton of the automobile, for us timeless Italian style and technological innovation are two very important values. “Finally, speaking of platforms, Napolitano said that” On the CMP 208, Corsa, DS 3, Mokka and 2008. We are talking about five cars that are very popular on the market.
Of course yes, even if it is still to be defined how to deal with the issue, whether with a sedan or a crossover, and the time horizon in which to do it. But it is better to do things well than hastily. We are moving towards electrification, but if there were to be an electric Ypsilon, more than the 500 in Mirafiori, I would look precisely at French architecture “.