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…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.