Jean-Pierre Ploue: the designer Pivotal Citroën for the renaissance of Lancia
Stellantis has shown its commitment to revitalizing the neglected Lancia brand with the appointment of Jean-Pierre Ploué as its new design boss.
Already director of design within the group of 14 brands, Ploué goes overseeing Lancia’s styling evolution from its headquarters in Torino Centro Stile, where it plays a similar role for other former brands of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Maserati.
This is the second time that Ploué has been tasked with leading the rebirth of a brand through design. In 1999, he became Citroën’s head of style and led a profound transformation of the brand’s image by launching models with bold styling such as the C4, C5, C6 and DS3.
Ploué was then promoted to design director for the entire PSA group in 2010, among other things gaining recognition for the striking and defining Peugeot SR1 concept.
Commenting on his latest appointment, he said: “The rebirth of Lancia is a really exciting challenge. Lancia is an iconic brand which will regain its historic central position in Europe, building on its enormous potential. ”
The Lancia design team is described as ‘lean and focused’ and mainly consists of young designers.
Lancia currently operates only in its Italian domestic market and offers only one model: the ten-year-old Ypsilon supermini based on the Fiat 500. The Ypsilon and the larger Delta were previously sold in the UK under the Chrysler brand, but were withdrawn in 2017 to allow FCA to focus more on expanding the Jeep brand.
Specific plans for Lancia’s revival have yet to be made public, but it is likely that the brand will rely heavily on the platforms and powertrains used by Alfa Romeo. Low volume premium focus is likely, which means Lancia will become to Alfa Romeo what DS is to Citroën.
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