TURIN -- Lancia plans to launch up to three new models in the next five years, as Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares seeks to give the storied Italian brand a chance for long-term survival through a focus on design, electrification and an expansion beyond its sole current market, Italy, where it has been reduced to a single model since 2017.
Early this year, Tavares quietly entrusted his longtime chief design lieutenant, Jean-Pierre Ploue, with the critical task of quickly designing a new range of Lancia models.
According to people involved on these projects but not authorized to speak publicly, Ploue has been assigned to design a small car, a compact crossover and a compact hatchback.
Work has already begun on the new Lancia models.
Ploue, who was named one of two global chief design officers at the 14-brand Stellantis group in January, makes frequent trips to the former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles styling center in Turin, where he also supervises the design of Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. He was formally given responsibility for Lancia design on June 15.
The small car, which would replace Lancia’s only current model, the Ypsilon, will appear first, in mid-2024, and will be the first full-electric offering in the company’s 115-year history. There will also be a gasoline variant.
The second model, a compact crossover, is set to appear in the first quarter of 2026 and will have only battery power.
While the small hatchback and the compact crossover projects were formally approved for development in mid-May, the compact hatchback has not yet received formal approval, according to people involved in the projects. Lancia is still evaluating if there will be sufficient volumes for a hatchback that would reach the market by late 2027.
A Stellantis spokesman declined to comment.