Chrysler and why nobody cares about the Integrale
There is a lot of viral fuss at the moment from excited enthusiasts about a car which they will never buy new with their own cash – the Chryslerised Delta.
Sticking a Chrysler badge on a Lancia Delta amounts to a crime on a par with putting the Sao Penza badges on the Mazda 323 – a miscarriage of marque identity. However, can I shovel the facts in: this car will punted as a pure and simple ‘corporate purchase’. Who wants the private buyer? Fleet buyers or death would be the sensible demographic for the marketing man. It needs to sell – or why bother?
You see Janet and Colin in the Accounts Department will never be sitting there thinking: ‘I know the Prius and the Golf BlueMotion make sound financial sense, but I really want the spiritual successor to the Integrale, with all the practicality the Beta HPE Volumex.’
It’s not going to happen. They might be there thinking; ‘I really like the standard quilted leather and Alcantara dash top so which two-tone should I chose?’ Chrysler’s Marketing Department will win buyers if they sell the Delta as an Apple/Radley handbag/Loake shoe-type product. Make it cheaper than a BMW 118d per calendar month and it’s bingo. Marque heritage will never get a look in – who cares? You might argue that the Lancia brand is a non-starter because of the famed corrosion worries – will you care if your perk is going rusty? No, of course not – you will get a new one in four years’ time.
This year, then, the enlightened family man will be getting a stylish hatchback to set him apart from his neighbour with the 118d/Golf BlueMotion/Prius – that’s annoyingly a niche which the MG6 could have acquired first.
My angle? Just keep an eye out for an eBay seller punting chrome grilles complete with a blue enamel stylised triangle and matching boot badges…