Lancia Delta rebadged as Chrysler for US
Chrysler has revealed a rebadged Lancia Delta at the Detroit show.
The lightly revamped Delta is the first evidence of CEO Sergio Marchionne's plan to immediately integrate some of Fiat's existing products into Chrysler's range in an attempt to boost the brand's sales performance in its home market.
Although Marchionne had already outlined plans for the ailing US giant to share Lancia's models, reports from Detroit suggest that observers were surprised at the transparency of the car's badge-engineering.
Despite a slightly altered grille, the Chrysler Delta appears to have hardly changed from the Lancia version currently sold on the continent, although there was no word on whether any alterations had been carried out beneath the exterior.
With no Chrysler press conference at Detroit this year the car was shown without any fanfare, and received little initial press coverage. But with more of Lancia's range expected to cross the Alantic in the coming months, it seems a good bet that the Delta has been quietly unveiled to gauge US reaction to Fiat-built Chryslers.
At this stage, there are no official plans to begin selling this rebadged Delta in America.
Marchionne has already expressed concern over the damage that could be done to Lancia by sharing its portfolio, but Chrylser's CEO also needs to consider the independence of his American division. A European makeover might be effective in the short term, but it's hard to imagine Chrysler surviving without a unique identity of its own.