Despite Lancia pulling out of Europe and being only on sale in Italy, the recent report from parent company FCA covering the European car market for the first half of 2019 has left many scratching their heads. Lancia has sold 34,600 vehicles within the period, outselling it’s sister brand Alfa Romeo by a not inconsiderable 5,500 units. Everybody believed that Lancia was on the way out, a brand we would soon see the demise of, but the figures suggest this is far from the case.
It is not good news for Alfa Romeo, it’s six-month sales are down 42 percent compared with the same period last year, it was also outsold by the Tesla Model 3 in Europe during the first half 37,476 to 29,059. The fact that Alfa Romeo was outsold by sister brand Lancia with its one-model Ypsilons through June in Italy with have FCA executives wondering what is going wrong.
Part of this news of Lancia outselling Alfa Romeo can be explained because Lancia boosted its sales in H1 2019 by offering some attractive deals for the Ypsilon in Italy. The Ypsiln, which shares its underpinnings with the Panda is popular in Italy, the hatchback has much going for it, it has after all virtually no competition in it’s home market. Second, it is the largest mini-SUV out there, and the company gives large discounts on it.
Car buyers in Italy looking to pick up a Lancia Ypsilon have a number of different powertrain options available, a 1.2-litre comes standard with stop/start function and 69hp, connected to a five-speed manual transmission. An LPG-converted version of the engine is also offered, as well as a 0.9-liter TwinAir with 70hp, seen as the best choice.
A next generation of the Ypsilon is due to arrive in the showrooms sometime in 2020, but again this will remain just for the Italian market. As for Alfa Romeo it’s July’s European sales figures continued to decline, with deliveries dropping by 56 percent in Italy, 66 percent in France and 70 percent in Spain. On the plus side FCA has set out a road plan for the brand, with the Tonale expected to boost sales next year, along with a new GTV and 8C sports cars due before 2022, the Giulia and Stelvio will also get mid-life refreshes, including new hybrid powertrains within the next 12-18 months.