04/06/2004

L'idée de la souscription en ligne...

Le forum de Viva-Lancia est décidément très actif. Les amoureux de Lancia en général et de la Fulvia en particulier ne veulent décidément pas accepter que cette voiture ne soit pas produite.
 
Les idées sont nombreuses pour tenter de faire changer d'avis le Directoire du Groupe.
 
Des initiatives ont déjà été prises comme l'élaboration de lettres ouvertes destinées aux dirigeants du Groupe.
 
Une autre idée consiste à convaincre la marque de l'opportunité et la rentabilité de la mise en production de la Fulvia, tant en terme d'image qu'en terme de rentabilité pure. Il s'agirait de mettre un site à disposition des candidats acquéreurs du modèle afin d'établir une souscription. Pour peu que le nombre de souscripteurs soit assez important, la viabilité du projet pourrait amener la marque à revenir sur sa décision.
 
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Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Guus Keder         (---.242.81.adsl.skynet.be)
Date:    04-07-04 14:34
 
Fiat/Lancia have decided not to produce the new Fulvia.
 
This seems like an unlogical decision but then we do not know the constraints that management was faced with. We must accept their decision, for now.
 
The concept of the Fulvia Series 4 is revolutionary and ahead of it's time: light body, low petrol consumption, back to simplicity, stunning design, fun motoring.
 
The question is, should we continue to post messages in this Forum ventilating our displeasure with Fiat/Lancia's decision or should we take initiatives to get the new Fulvia manufactured anyway, not by Lancia but perhaps by somebody else, and perhaps with the help of Lancia.
I suggest we should do the latter and I am inviting comments on how this could be done.
 
We need ideas on:
 
- who could build this car?
- how do we market this car?
- how can we make it a viable proposition for the eventual builder?
- who will coordinate this?
- how can we get enough help from Lancia in terms of design blueprints and supply of parts including engines?
- which other suppliers could help get this off the ground and use this as a laboratory with a commercial future?
- who has the contacts?
- etc...
 
This initiative should become the ultimate example of consumer power. The market must decide which cars are getting build!
 
Fulvia. A Cult Moving.....

Guus
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Paul de R. Leclercq         (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date:    04-07-04 20:32
 
A lovely brave idea.
 
However it is very difficult to imagine FIAT selling any rights to a Lancia - that is a car that would have to be called a Lancia Fulvia.
 
And it would have to be built in Italy - hopefully Turin. I suppose that Zagato might consider it given that I understand that the company that made the Barchettas is now insolvent.
 
Best of luck
Paul
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Nicola         (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date:    04-13-04 19:26
 
I just came across this discussion on the Fulvia and thought to put my two cents in.
 
The decision not to build the Fulvia is obviously a bad one, but Fiat Auto says the reason is due to engineering constraints and the use of the Barchetta platform -- which I'm assuming is at the end of it's life cycle and will be replaced soon. As much as we Lancisti would hate this decision, it would be hard to see the Fiat making a business case for the Fulvia now -- but that's part of a much bigger problem over at Fiat Auto.
 
However, there could still be hope. I recently read that Fiat Auto is asking GM to use their new Kappa platfrom for a possible new Alfa Romeo Spider -- I read this in the American car magazine Motor Trend as well as on a few online forums. For those of you not familiar, the Kappa platform is an all new small, light RWD platform that GM has developed for small roadseters, coupes and possibly a small sedan. Its a flexible platform and will underpin a number of new products for GM over the coming years. The platform has already spawned the excellent Pontiac Solstice (which is approved for production), the European Vauxhall Lightening Concept, the Chevrolet Nomad Concept and the Saturn Curve Concept. Insiders say it will also be the basis for a new Saab Sonnett production car soon -- GM seems hell bent on making Saab profitable and a new Sonnett would be a nice halo vehicle. In any event, the point of all this is that if Fiat Auto is willing to approach GM to use the new Kappa platform for a RWD Alfa Spider, why not use the same platform for the Fulvia Coupe? Obviously there would be some kind of reworking of the look and dimensions of the Fulvia concept for an RWD vs. FWD application, but this would still be a viable platform for a sporting coupe. And if it was teamed to a good engine and powertrain, then it could be a great alternative to many of the small RWD coupes running around out there now.
 
This may sound like a bit of a long shot, but think about it. If you're going to contact Fiat to protest the decision not to build the Fulvia concept (and perhaps the mistreatment of Lancia in general), then perhaps along with that protest should come the suggestion to use the Kappa platform. Afterall, Fiat has already inked a deal to use the new GM Epsilon Platform (the one used for the Opel/Vauxhall Vectra, Saab 9-3, and Pontiac G6) for a new Fiat "Large" car and there is evidence that the next Punto and Corsa will share a platform too -- so there is already proof that Fiat is at least willing to use outside platforms where necessary. So why not use this platform too and give the enthusiast public what they want?
 
Just my thoughts on this.
Nicola
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Paul de R. Leclercq         (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date:    04-13-04 21:12
 
A good argument Nicola.
 
Actually I think that GM has a bare-faced cheek using the name "Kappa" and should give the platform to Lancia free of charge; FIAT could hardly refuse then!
 
Paul
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    mark         (82.141.227.---)
Date:    04-16-04 12:24

Yeah i'm not too sure about the whole platform sharing bit with GM. i know obviously it makes good business sence to platform share with other companies, but, well GM? Unless the platforms Fiat Auto will use are going to be heavily modified its not going to work. Lets be honest, GM=USA=haven't a clue how to set up a car, unless you like "cruising" and not "driving"! Need i mention SAAB?! since Gm took control and based every SAAB on Opels the company sales have nose dived.
 
But, i have to say that Fiat should NEVER have made the decision not to build the new Fulvia, without doubt one of the worst decisions they've made in recent times. It so could have been the perfect "halo" model for the rest of the range, i can't see the problem with it being based on a modified Barchetta platform.
 
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 Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    P. de R. Leclercq         (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date:    04-16-04 13:10
 
The problem with the Barchetta is that the company that made them has gone bust!
 
Paul
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Shant Fabricatorian         (---.syd.iprimus.net.au)
Date:    04-16-04 15:26
 
I think the fact that Maggiore hit a financial rocky patch didn't help, but as I understand it the main problem was the fact that the Barchetta is based on the chassis and suspension of the original Punto, which is now eleven years old. Now there's no inherent problem with that, but you need to remember that platform technology and chassis dynamics have come a long way in those eleven years, and for that matter, continue to do so. I am guessing that in order to get acceptable chassis dynamics for what would have been pitched as a premium sporting coupe, Lancia would have liked to junk the Punto/Barchetta's front/rear strut/trailing arm arrangement and gone for something a bit more sophisticated. Clearly this would have cost a prohibitive amount of money. The platform itself was also a bit of a problem in that Lancia would quite probably have liked to use something a bit newer and stiffer than the Barchetta.
 
I can't remember for sure but I also do recall hearing something about a time restriction on putting it into production, related once again to the platform running out of 'homologation' if you like, it had to be by June/July this year if memory serves. Not homologation in the racing sense, but something to do with European regulations, I think. Alternatively there is the possibility that this particular point is a load of cobblers, but I don't think I could have invented it.
 
Maybe Lancia could have plonked the Fulvia design straight onto the current Stilo platform but one of the main attractions of the Fulvia Coupe concept was that it was near-enough to being 'production ready' - ie, little investment would have been required to make it a production reality. Putting it onto a different platform would have meant a near-total re-engineering job, which may well have made it totally uneconomic. Bear in mind what I have said before about the allocation of resources in the Fiat Group currently running Fiat, then Alfa, then light commercial vehicles, then lastly Lancia. Despite the fact that Fiat's position is improving all the time, the fact is that they are still making a loss, and when you allocate resources on that basis there was very little chance of the Fulvia making it to production, especially if there was re-engineering involved.
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    P. de R. Leclercq         (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date:    04-16-04 16:35
 
Shant Fabricatorian wrote:
>
> ... Despite the fact that Fiat's
> position is improving all the time, the fact is that they are
> still making a loss, and when you allocate resources on that
> basis there was very little chance of the Fulvia making it to
> production, especially if there was re-engineering involved.
 
You made good points about the age of the Barchetta ppaltform; I think that what you wrote makes good sense.
 
However, I still insist that FIAT is missing a trick here (unless it is decided on killing Lancia) in that here was a golden opportunity to improve the group's profile at relatively small cost; something it desperately needs after the Stilo's apparent failure. And if the platform was running out of "time" whose cock-up was it in authorising the exercise in the first place?
 
The Lancia was applauded everywhere; to ignore this seems like image hari-kiri to me.
 
Paul
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Shant Fabricatorian         (---.syd.iprimus.net.au)
Date:    04-17-04 03:23
 
"And if the platform was running out of "time" whose cock-up was it in authorising the exercise in the first place?"
 
But here's the rub - originally, the car was never intended to be put into production, the Barchetta platform was simply an expedient means of getting a base to put the styling exercise. When the clamours for production began, Lancia said they would look into the possibility, partly, I think, to announce the decision that they'd decided not to build it well after the coverage of the Motor Show itself - less press kickback. I believe there was a possibility for it to happen, but it was a very very small one and would have required total backing from Fiat. Clearly that wasn't very likely to happen.
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    justin         (---.range217-42.btcentralplus.com)
Date:    04-20-04 12:24
 
Your collective views are very inspiring, academically.

But I just want to know who in Germany/Italy/Europe etc, to go and punch 'til they change their mind !
 
Regards,
An old-and-new Fulvia nut,
Justin
 
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Re: Should Fulvia Series 4 die here?

Author:    Guus Keder         (62.237.204.---)
Date:    04-29-04 14:55
 
Gentlemen,
Everybody thanks for your input, comments and ideas.
 
Let me explain the idea behind my original posting. If we want the new Fulvia to happen, there is only one way: there needs to be a market for the new Fulvia and Fiat needs to recognise that market as being an interesting one for them. As (potential) customers we can show Fiat that the market exists. And perhaps we can even help them in their thought process in relation to the build decision. My posting was meant to bring together people and ideas to show the existence of the market.
 
In your postings, some examples have been given of comparable cars and market niches. I offer another example here: the BMW Z1. The Z1 was originally built as a non-production concept car in which BMW showed the application of a number of novel technologies. Their idea was to bring their know-how about convertible sports cars up to the technology level of the time (1986). The car eventually attracted so much attention that BMW could not but actually produce the car. Initially 2000 units were (hand) manufactured and subsequently an additional 6000 units we brought to market. This was all based on pure market demand. The cars were expensive (the first batch cost €40000 in 1989 and the second batch was more expensive). BMW stopped production in 1992 because they were not making money on this model.
 
Now think again. BMW subsequently went on to develop the Z3, a hugely succesful car, now being succeeded by the Z4. Some of the technology used in the Z1 is now being used in the latest 3-Series cars (mainly suspension) and beyond. The Z1 was the start of BMW's innovation drive through the Z-cars and was released at the same time as the modern 3-Series and 5-Series. From then on, BMW has not looked back and has continued to develop tremendously succesful cars. So have they made money on the Z1? In my view they sure have and the return on that investment has been fantastic.
 
Moreover, the Z1 is now a cult-car that can still match any convertible sports car technically and esthetically.
 
So I have this model in mind for Fiat. If well executed, the new Fulvia can have similar effects for Fiat as the Z1 had for BMW.

Now back to my posting. I think we should build the market. We should set up a web site where people can register their interest in the Fulvia. We can build a database that we will eventually present to Fiat. We are not going to take orders, but we are going to build an electronic marketing instrument for Fiat/Lancia.
 
The web site will be simple but we need people that can build and maintain this web site.
If you are interested to work on this, let me know.
 
Guus 
 

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