Back in Belgium, Lancia is going premium and electric

There is not much in common between the new 100% electric Ypsilon and the latest model from 2011, apart from the name (the logo has also changed). The aim of the maneuver is to have a premium strike force that is well spread in the Stellantis constellation.

Premium was once the domain of DS and became its own brand after being cloned from Citroën. Alfa Romeo joined the club last year. Today it’s Lancia’s turn.

Electric cars, the end for mechanics?

Lancia between Alfa and DS

At first glance, three brands in the same segment is a bit much. However, they should not compete with each other. DS is French luxury, Alfa is Italian sportiness and Lancia, “it’s a bit of both, Italian elegance with a sporty touch”estimates Miloš Tomanek, Vice President of the Premium cluster for Belgium and Luxembourg (Belux). “This is the brand we needed.

These two countries, as well as the Netherlands, are the first European countries to offer the new Lancia Ypsilon outside of Italy, where the first deliveries are expected soon, despite production starting three weeks ago.

The choice of Belgium is mainly due to the strong presence of the Italian community. It is also a privileged vacation spot that makes you dream. “There’s a lot of potential”.

The premium segment was for a time reserved for DS, which became its own brand after being cloned from Citroën. Alfa Romeo joined the club in 2023. Today it’s Lancia’s turn.

The breakthrough is also important in engines: all cars offered in the future will be electrified. “The goal is to launch a new model every two years,” recalls Raphaël Hullaert, Regional Operations Manager Alfa Romeo – Lancia Belux.

So the first is Ypsilon, which carries the standard of rebirth of a brand that has not completely disappeared. The 2011 model still sold around 45,000 units in 2023 in Italy, the only country where it was still sold since Lancia left European markets in 2015–2016. Production will stop to make way for the electric Ypsilon itself.

Choosing Ypsilonka also allows us to build on the name of a model that has sold around 3 million copies since it was first launched 39 years ago. “It’s not a facelift, but a completely new model.” points out Milsoz Tománek.

The Ypsilon is part of the B segment, i.e. city cars, which are still very successful here. This also explains the premiere reserved for Belgium. All this with premium docking.

How is this justified and justified? The quality cannot be faulted. “The interior is the interior of a beautiful Italian house”, notes Alexander Langmans, Belux product manager. We are no longer talking about armchairs, but about seats. A low table – “tavolino” – allows you to place coffee, logically Italian. The SALA virtual interface – Italian for room – is the first in a production Stellantis vehicle.

A hybrid version will be offered later this year. Its price will be 24,000 euros, significantly more affordable for individuals than the 34,500 euros of the basic electric model (403 kilometers of autonomy).

Are you buying a car abroad? Thousands of euros saved!

Leasing and company fleet

Lancia managers are well aware of the costs and will offer leasing packages for 60 enable you to have a bill close to that of a thermal car’ says Charles Fuster, the brand’s chief marketing officer. The goal is to have affordable monthly rent without having to pay or borrow the entire amount. The formula is very popular in the Netherlands, but has not yet caught on in Belgium.

After the Ypsilon, an electric SUV named Gamma and an electric Delta will be added in 2028. “We will also be re-launching the HF crest, which is the sport version of the crest“, adds Raphaël Hullaert.

It remains to find (new) customers: a network of ten dealers (end of 2024) is installed in or near cities, because it is a city car. The younger generation may also be attracted to sustainability efforts, be it CO2 emissions or the use of recycled or recyclable materials. Its design is also a big advantage. The main target, however, remains company fleets, which represent 80% of premium car sales.

Source link

Leave a Comment