Re: Lancia´s news from 2006
The Brera must go. It´s malproportioned and does nothing better than the lovely little GT.
Let´s test the product plan....
I am a fellow in need of a car. If I want something like a VW Golf but with sporting pretensions, the dealer shows me the Alfa 148 in 3 or 5 door guise. If I have a family or I am a business chap/chappette, then I am showed the Lancia Fulvia 3 door and 5 door "shooting brake" (excuse me while I hide my smirk). "But," I say, "I can´t afford the insurance on the Alfa and the Lancias are a bit too big and they only have five cylinder engines..." Well, the man trundles me over to the Fiat dealer where a pile of unsold Bravos await me.
If I need a saloon sized and priced similarly to a low-spec BMW 3 series, then I am pointed at the Alfa 158 sport saloon. If I decide that I want a sports car for the same money, I am am shown the Lancia Fulvia coupe. The Alfa targets the BMW 3 and the Fulvia targets the Audi TT and 3-series coupes.
If I want a car sized like an Audi A6 but cheaper and nicer inside, the salesperson takes me by the elbow and shows me the Lancia Flaminia. If I want a sportier version, I can be sold the Sport Pack. It´s very discrete. If I want more space, for the same money I can have the MPV Phaedra.
Let´s say I want something to compete with the A5 or Mercedes CLK. Then the man shows me the Lancia Florida coupe (two doors, room for 4). If that´s too plush, I am shown the 2 seater GTV or its convertible friend which cost more than the Fulvia but less the the Florida. So, 4 seats equals Lancia, two for the Alfa.
At each step of the way I am forced to choose between price, format and size. Lancia and Alfa will always have one thing the other doesn´t and so customers differentiate themselves accordingly. It´s a brilliant, brilliant plan with no visible flaws of any kind.
The gist is that as you go up the ladder of price and size, each brand has a model of a different type so one type never competes with the same type in another brand. It´s saloon versus coupe, wagon versus hatch, and at the top, saloon and MPV compliment one another for Lancia. If the MPV was more S-Max like you could even nix the saloon altogether and still avoid cross-brand competition.