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Lancia returns to UK in 2008

Date: 12 September 2006

Lancia will return with the Delta in 2008

Italian brand Lancia will return to the UK in late 2008 with the launch of a rival to the Ford Focus. The Delta HPE will be shown in concept form at this month's Paris motor show.

Lancia, sister brand to Fiat and Alfa Romeo, last officially sold new cars in the UK 14 years ago.

The Delta will be based on the same platform as the forthcoming Fiat Bravo, due next year, which replaces the unloved Stilo. That shared technology ensured right-hand drive production.

The Lancia brand will be pitched as a luxury marque slotting between Fiat, the company's mainstream volume player, and the more sporty Alfa.

Fiat Auto's next phase is to plan a marketing and distribution strategy for the brand, including the crucial entry to the business car market. "At the moment, exactly how it will take shape is yet to be defined," said Fiat and Alfa Romeo fleet boss Tony Dittli.