Fiat's Lancia arm showed off today the Chrysler-based models coming to Geneva next month. Considering Fiat's controlling stake, it's no surprise the new Europe-only Lancias are rebadged Chryslers. What is surprising: Lancia appears to have done the rebadging in Photoshop.
Fiat has made it clear there's no limits to corporate sharing between the Italian and American arms, and the same executive runs both Chrysler and Lancia (with one Blackberry in English, the other in Italian.) Rebadging Chryslers makes some sense; Lancia, the Lincoln of Italy, could never justify its own rear-wheel-drive sedan, which is why Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi flees angry mobs in an Audi A8.
At Geneva, the lightly-tweaked Chrysler 200 will be unveiled as the Lancia Flavia; the Town & Country minivan becomes the Lancia Grand Voyager (sorry, Plymouth) and the 300 sedan becomes the Lancia Thema. Lancia released photos of the models today, and as Carscoop first noticed, it wasn't just the rebadging that's noticeable; Fiat appears to have actually photo-chopped Chrysler press shots into the new Lancias. It's particularly obvious on the Flavia/200 combo, which have their front wheel lugnuts and tire stems in the exact same position.
We put an inquiry into Fiat-Lancia about the photos, and haven't heard back. Given how adept Chrysler has become at using photo editing software to spice up its vehicles, it could be just another example of corporate sharing at work.
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