Lancia just unveiled their new website full of thinly disguised Chryslers. The tagline for the new Lancia Voyager minivan (nee Plymouth) is "Emotions to Share." Well, I've got some fucking emotions to share, Lancia! Like Disgust. Outrage. Betrayal. The Lancia brand has been in decline for many years under inept Italian leadership. But this infusion of oversized, underwhelming American product to prop up the nameplate is just beyond pathetic. Lancia fittingly chose a woman perched on a roof gazing mournfully downwards as she contemplates whether to jump to her death or go downstairs and drive that trashwagon parked outside. I found that imagery quite resonant to my own emotions as I looked through the site.
Seeing the legendary name Flavia applied to a Chrysler 200 (nee Sebring) convertible makes me want to puke almost as badly as I wanted to puke when I was forced to drive one of those pieces of junk as a rental last year. Going through this new website, it astonishes me how much care and thought was put into the marketing of such utterly shit cars. The vast amounts of money that was spent on photoshoots, branding consultants, web development, etc. All of this trouble to sell cars that should never have existed. The workings of the modern corporation never cease to confound me.After roughly a century of innovation, style, motorsports success, and the rest, this is what Lancia is reduced to: a noble badge on a worthless car. To again quote the Lancia marketing:
"There are certain emotions which go straight to the heart. Even if they have to cross an ocean."
How true. Lancia, you are dead to me now.