The Fiat and Chrysler product and marketing teams have a lot to discuss. Close to the top of the agenda in their deliberations is the issue of which badge would best fit the new range of Fiat-based mini, small and lower medium cars that Chrysler could begin selling in North America from 2011.
One possibility worth consideration could be the reintroduction of the Lancia brand that withdrew from the United States 30 years ago. Its last car, the Beta Montecarlo/Scorpion, sold less than 2,000 units in that market.
Many Scorpions still survive today, owned by proud collectors. Most of them are not the same people who originally bought a great Pininfarina design that was let down by poor build-quality, modest performance and insufficient braking capabilities.
To most of todays generation of car buyers in America, Lancia would be perceived as a completely new brand, just like the youth-oriented Scion brand launched successfully there by Toyota.
The difference is that Lancia offers 103 years of heritage and a history that Scion does not have.