In a statement, the brand said the reintroduction of Lancia to the UK had been postponed.
‘Given the current global economic crisis, Fiat Group Automobiles has taken the decision to delay the re-introduction of the Lancia brand in right hand drive markets beyond 2009.’
It will not be too much of a blow to the UK arm. Alfa was rumoured to be dubious about the luxury arm’s proposals for the relaunch.
Lancia dealers were to share selected Alfa Romeo dealers, with separate branding and identities.
Even at this relatively late stage, neither Lancia Italy nor Alfa Romeo UK could confirm exactly which dealers were to carry the brand.
This was despite an intended launch date of mid-2009.
The marque was also proposing to commit just one car to right hand drive production. The Focus-rivalling Delta was rumoured to have a starting price of £17,000.
A new supermini variant was not to arrive until 2010.
The maker was keen to stress this is a delay, not a cancellation of plans. A new Fiat Punto-sized Ypsilon is launched in Italy in 2010.
Insiders hope this, coupled with an upturn in the car market, will pave the way for the brand’s re-entry into the UK.