On this day in auto history - November 30th

Sat 30th Nov 2019

It was on this day in 1906 that the famous Italian automobile manufacturer Lancia was formed in Turin.

The company was founded by renowned Fiat racing drivers Vicenzo Lancia and Claudio Fogolin who manufactured cars alongside exporting components to the USA which were assembled and sold as SGV’s.

Establishing a reputation for innovation, Lancia was the first European manufacturer to install a complete electrical system in a production vehicle as a ‘standard’ as it did with the Theta in 1913.

 

Vicenzo Lancia died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 55, paving the way for his son, Gianni, to become president of Lancia between 1947 and 1955 but the company was haemorrhaging significant sums of money by the time it was taken over by Fiat in 1969.

Helped by a strong tradition in motorsport, sales of Lancia models continue to hold up well in Italy but the marque has been gradually withdrawn from export markets. In the UK, its reputation was severely tarnished by the terrible publicity surrounding the trouble-strewn Lancia Beta in the early 1980’s and has never recovered.