The Lancia Delta successor could be build in the US
Fiat-Chrysler is pondering whether to build a new hatchback with the name ’100′ according to the Detroit Free Press. The newspaper indicated that Sergio Marchionne himself came up with this plan and would have personally suggested this name. It sounds quite reasonable after the Chrysler 300 (Lancia Thema), Chrysler 200 (Lancia Flavia) and now Chrysler 100 (Lancia Delta). The Ypsilon won’t make it across the ocean. Fiat already confirmed production plans for the Chrysler 200 successor (and Lancia Lybra) as well as the new Alfa Romeo Giulia in the car plant of Sterling Heights near Detroit. But the production plant in Belvidere, Illinois (600 miles to the west) where Fiat will build the new eco-friendly Dodge, also seems a potential candidate. The new Chrysler hatchback is one of the many cars for which the Fiat-Chrysler Group is using the ‘Compact-Wide’ platform. It will offer Chrysler a strong potential to compete against European rivals such as Audi and BMW. Although Fiat brand manager Olivier François recently mentioned there will be no Chrysler based on this compact platform, who knows what to expect.
The newspaper source suggested the new hatch could also serve as an export product, which could mean a Lancia in Europe and a Chrysler for the UK market. The current Delta is still in production at the Cassino plant (between Rome and Naples) and is likely to stay in production untill 2014. By that time Fiat Group Automobiles will give plenty of attention to other new C-segment models from Fiat in that production facility.