The Chrysler brand, briefly a force in the United Kingdom through its ownership of the former Rootes Group and Commer (trucks), is again leaving the country, according to Automotive News — even as Allpar sources say that Lancia is leaving Austria and possibly the rest of Europe, save Italy.
In the UK and Ireland, Chrysler has gone from nearly their full range to just top-end vehicles, sold with rebadged Lancia Deltas and Ypsilons. The brand sold under 2,000 vehicles last year, according to Nick Gibbs of Automotive News, quoting the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders — and most of them were Lancia Ypsilons.
In most European nations, Chrysler vehicles are sold as Lancias, but again, few are sold and Voyager seems to be the only car consistently available. The only popular Lancia/Chrysler in Europe is the Ypsilon, and its sales were just 61,473 last year, with most sold in Italy.
The phase-out will come within two years, which coincides with Lancia leaving Austria and probably other European nations. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has already said he would drop the Lancia brand outside of Italy.
Jeep will remain in the UK; sales were 3,909 last year and are supposed to rise to 10,000 this year, with the Renegade accounting for 70% of sales.
As promised by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, Lancia is slowly withdrawing to Italy. Our source told us today that dealer contracts in Austria have been cancelled, with two years left for the brand to run before it leaves entirely.
The name Voyager comes from the Plymouth; in Europe, it was sold as the Chrysler Voyager because Plymouth had already left most European countries by the time minivans were launched in 1983. Ironically, Renault launched the popular Espace in the same year — based on work done by Chrysler Europe and allied specialists Matra.
Sales of the Voyager have been declining for years, due, according to our European source, to the loss of the short-wheelbase version, dropping AWD, the lack of local production facilities, shrinking of the segment, and the loss of domestic production (in 2007).
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