‘Lancia’s reputation means the Ypsilon will face an uphill battle if it comes to the UK’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler wonders whether Stellantis will bother bringing the Lancia Ypsilon to the UK

Opinion - Lancia

Could Lancia return to the UK? At the moment, Stellantis bosses are remaining tight-lipped about the possibility, but without a firm denial, it could still happen. And as you might have already seen, the Italians are readying a new Vauxhall Corsa-based Ypsilon model.

The might of the Stellantis empire means it’s more cost-effective than ever to produce a new, small Lancia and sell it in right-hand drive, but should the firm bother? Or more to the point, how would UK buyers take to the return of a brand that – let’s be honest – didn’t have the greatest reputation with them back in the day?

No matter how good a new Ypsilon might be, it’ll face an uphill battle in the UK wearing a Lancia badge. And that’s before we even get on to the subject of whether Stellantis really needs quite so many brands.

I’ve spoken many times here about the importance of names, and thankfully it seems the likes of Toyota and Honda are keen to move back to proper names in future rather than WiFi passwords like bZ4x and e:Ny1. But delving back into the past is tricky, too – as Lancia proves.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Is there a whole new generation of car buyers out there for whom the lure of Lancia will be something they can’t resist?

There’s a whole host of British car names that could be revived, too. The smartest thing that SAIC (formerly Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) did was to revive the MG name for its range of affordable small cars. Selling in excess of 80,000 in the UK last year is proof of the firm’s success and the allure of the new MG brand.

I’m amazed more up-and-coming car companies haven’t followed suit – surely it’s time for another Jensen revival? I always thought the rather impressive Hi-Phi models would be even more attractive as Jensens.

Of course, there are some names that are probably best left in the annals of history, but a few – Triumph, for example – I reckon could still sit nicely on a new car.

Do you agree with Steve? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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