Automobile

Lancia bets on online sales in European expansion

TURIN — Stellantis is aiming to make 50 percent of Lancia sales online as the automaker gears up to relaunch the premium brand across Europe, Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano said.

The 116-year-old brand, which had shrunk to just one model in one market — its home of Italy — plans to launch a new Ypsilon model in Italy in early 2024, and then in France, Germany, Spain, Belgium by the end of June that year, Napolitano said.

The small Ypsilon will debut with a full-electric option as well as internal combustion engines, but all models after that will be only full-electric.

“I can see about 100 dealerships in the 60 major European cities … and a massive use of the digital world,” Napolitano said. “Here we expect 50 percent of sales to be online,” he said, adding online sales would be completed through dealers.

Lancia on Friday announced the official start of its 10-year plan in a news release, although much of the information has already been revealed.

Lancia also named country brand managers in the release: Paola Pichierri for France, Niccolo Biagioli for Germany, Francesco Colonnese for Spain, Patrice Duclos for Begium and Luxembourg, and Patrick Zegwaard for the Netherlands. Raffaele Ruffo will head Italy, and Roberta Zerbi, head of Lancia brand for Enlarged Europe, will coordinate commercial activities.

Lancia said it had selected a limited number of countries for its expansion plans based on criteria that included the relevance of online sales and the market for premium small cars, as well as “passion for made in Italy.” 

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