Lancia Delta

A television ad that Lancia produced for its new Delta hatchback has angered China as it touched on the sensitive issue on Tibet’s attempts to gain independence from China.

The commercial shows actor Richard Gere driving the Lancia Delta in a Tibetan village where he makes a hand print in the snow with a young Tibetan monk. Richard Gere has been well known to speak out publicly against China’s Tibet policies. The ad ends with the message “The power to be different”… a hidden (or not so hidden) message about Tibet not wanting to be a part of China? Delta is also the symbol of “difference” in maths.

Fiat has issued an apology to the People’s Republic of China over an misinterpretations of its position of neutrality and said that the use of Richard Gere in the ad does not mean Fiat endorsed his political views, however a top Fiat official said the ad was “politically advanced” and since Lancia did not sell cars in China, it was free to comment on the whole Tibet-China issue.

Unfortunately Fiat does sells cars in China, albeit that is another hairy situation as it does not actually have any cars to sell now, still being in a transition period from its partnership with Nanjing to its new partnership with Chery.

View the “offending” ad after the jump.

VIDEO: Lancia Delta Richard Gere Ad