The creation of the new Lancia-Chrysler network is marked by the commercial debut of the new-generation Ypsilon (above) that will be sold across the major mainland European markets under the former's brand and, starting from September, under the latter's brand in the UK and Ireland.

The integration and reorganisation of the distribution activities of Fiat Group Automobiles and the Chrysler Group is now completed after only one year. The new Lancia-Chrysler and Jeep sales networks officially started operations yesterday (June 1). The sales networks now counts over 1,000 dealers, of which 350 will be trading both brands.

The new Lancia-Chrysler network will consist of over 600 dealers (of which nearly 450 are present in major markets) and will be identified across mainland European countries by the Lancia name, except for the UK and Ireland where the Chrysler brand identification is being retained as Fiat believes it has more inherent value with consumers than Lancia. Also added into the mix are former Dodge dealers, as this Chrysler Group brand has now been withdrawn from all European markets.

The creation of this new network is marked by the commercial debut of the new-generation Ypsilon that will be sold in the major European markets under the Lancia brand and, starting from September, under the Chrysler brand in the UK and Ireland. The fourth series of the successful supermini model, the new Ypsilon is packaged into a length of just 3.84 metres and for the first time is available as a 5-door version.

The second innovation concerns the Jeep sales network in Europe. With seventy years of history, the US brand has global recognition with its vehicles sold in over 120 countries worldwide. In the ‘Old World’, the integration process between the two groups has given rise to a network of over 430 dealers, a mix of existing dealers and those new to the brand.

The new Jeep network will count on several new and refreshed products to tackle its short-term challenges, which revolve primarily around rebuilding its near-invisible European sales footprint. This year, for its seventieth anniversary, the U.S. offroad brand will introduce evolutions of four models to European markets. The Jeep Wrangler, as well as the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited version, have been revised and equipped with Stop/Start technology – seen for the first time on a Jeep – and this model will next year debut with the new ‘Pentastar’ 3.6 V6 to replace the current lowly-regarded and underpowered 202 hp 3.8 EGT V6 petrol engine. At the same time, the current 4-speed auto box with be replaced with a new transmission. This year also see the Jeep brand’s flagship model, the new Grand Cherokee, equipped with VM Motori’s 3.0 diesel engine for European markets. The flagship shares some of the same cosmetic design concepts as the restyled Compass, the Jeep family’s compact SUV.

According to Fiat Group Automobiles, “the integration will boost significant synergies aimed at fully exploiting the potentials of the two networks and will mark the creation of a more efficient, higher quality commercial organisation for the distribution of new products ranges, spare parts and services.”

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