Lancia Sets Huge Goal for 2010
By Brendan Moore
European publications are reporting that Lancia hopes to sell 300,000 units by 2010 and will do this by increasing their numbers of dealers in Europe and adding models to their range, says their CEO. New additions will include the Delta HPE, the concept car shown last year to generally good reviews in Europe. Lancia sold only 110,00 units last year.
Olivier Francois, CEO of Lancia, Fiat Group’s worst performer, says that an improved and larger dealer population in Europe, but outside of Italy, will be paramount to making the optimistic sales number in 2010. Francois feels that expanding the dealer network is much more important than the addition of new models.
Fiat strongly considered dumping Lancia not so long ago, but apparently had a change of heart and is now thinking that more places to buy Lancias will result in more sales for the moribund brand. Lancia and Alfa Romeo currently share showrooms outside of Italy, but is now considering some stand-alone Lancia franchises in addition to more dual-brand arrangments with Alfa. Even the dual-brand retail locations maintain separate sales staffs.
Lancia is one of many auto companies predicting extremely strong growth numbers for 2010 in Europe and all of those companies cannot all be right. In fact, if you do the math against projected sales in the next 36 months, it is obvious that quite a few companies will have to lose to make just a couple of companies gain.
Will Lancia be one of the winners? Recent history would suggest that it will not, but perhaps Lancia will confound probability and make their aggressive sales goals.
And on a related note, we also want to know, will Carla Bruni, the new wife of Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, continue doing those slinky, sexy commercials for both Alfa Romeo and Lancia? Those televison ads have to be worth a few extra units, I would think.
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