In just a few weeks’ time, shareholders will vote whether to create the world’s fourth-largest automaker. For the past several months, both Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot Group (PSA) have aimed to merge, creating Amsterdam-based “Stellantis” as a new corporate entity. In doing so, PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares was named CEO of the combined company. Mystery remained, however, over exactly what role FCA CEO Mike Manley would play. Now, though, it’s clear he will be “Head of Americas” and will work alongside Tavares should shareholders finally approve the merger.
This news came Friday thanks to FCA chairman John Elkann, who penned an open letter to employees. “Mike championed the extraordinary potential of this industry-changing merger from its earliest days and he has also set the tone for all the great work that has been done by FCA teams working with our PSA soon-to-be-colleagues, from before the merger announcement a year ago to where we are today, precisely twelve months later.” Shareholders are set to vote on January 4, 2021. Combined, the resources from the manufacturers will raise capacity to 8.7 million vehicles annually. That’s one of the highest volumes in the industry, behind just Volkswagen Group, Toyota and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
Stellantis will include at least a dozen brands
From FCA, Stellantis will gain the Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati and Ram brands. PSA, for its part, will bring Citroën and its DS offshoot brand, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall.
Of course, one of the largest questions — at least among Americans watching this merger — will be whether PSA’s European-centric brands could see a revival here in the United States. Technically, we did see Opel and Vauxhall cars under the Buick brand, when GM still owned the two companies prior to PSA’s buyout in 2017. Now, since they’re solely under PSA’s wing, it’s unclear exactly when the combined automotive giant will reintroduce Peugeot, and possibly other brands, into the U.S. market.
There have been reports as recent as last year that PSA would bring brands back to North America. Those reports were reaffirmed post-merger announcement, and we could see it as soon as 2023. Judging by Fiat’s reintroduction in the last decade and how it has performed over the past few years, we’ll have to see exactly how things play out under Stellantis. Saying you will reintroduce European brands to the U.S. is one thing, but whether American buyers will take to them could be a challenging prospect.
Back when the news of FCA and PSA’s tie-up broke, we tried to work out how the resulting company could shake out in the video below. It’s worth noting that while Stellantis will be the name of the new company, it’s strictly a corporate naming scheme, and the brands or their identities won’t change (at least right now) as a result of the merger.