Geneva show – style the key to Chrysler/Lancia success

Geneva show – style the key to Chrysler/Lancia successMarketing Chrysler and Lancia in Europe is proving a challenge for the global head of both brands.

The two famous badges have come together as a result of Fiat taking a controlling stake in Chrysler.

Lancias were re-introduced in Britain last year, but wearing Chrysler badges, while the Lancia range in European countries include Chryslers with Italian branding.

All of which gives Chrysler and Lancia head Saad Chehab plenty to think about.

“Then you have got to figure out all the different languages, cultures, tax and emissions rules for each different country – it’s a challenge,” Chehab tells Headline Auto.

“What we have to do in the UK is press home the American and Detroit heritage of Chrysler while in Europe we need to flaunt the Italian style of Lancia.

“We need to win back customers to both brands but sending out the message that our cars are different to everything else on the road.”

In the US the message appears to be hitting home – Chehab says that the Chrysler brand had its best month for four years in America in February.

“Word will spread,” he adds. “We are very confident we now have a tactical marketing strategy.”

He is also excited about new models being jointly developed by the Chrysler and Fiat groups. “We are taking a long look at trends which could affect our styling in the future and I am working closely with the designers.

“It’s trying to look into the future and things move so quickly. A couple of years ago nobody knew what an iPad was, now everyone wants one,” he says.

“We also want people to feel comfortable in our cars no matter what their age or social standing may be. Think of Nike, they are worn by kids or rich businessmen, they have a broad appeal. We need to be trendy and cool.

“A car is not just something to get you from A to B, it is a piece of art on wheels.”

Chehab hints that the next generation Delta will be a lot more sporty reflecting the image of Lancia’s renowned rally cars of previous generations. “But rallying is not as popular as it once was, so it will be sporty in a different way.”

Photo: Andrew Charman

Words by: DrivenData Reporter

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