For the past few years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been looking to get married. After its advances were spurned by the likes of General Motors and Volkswagen, a merger with France’s Renault looked possible, until FCA boss Sergio Marchionne died in 2018. Then, in October, news arrived that FCA had found a new French friend—Peugeot SA. On Monday, Peugeot’s shareholders voted to approve the merger.
The new company, called Stellantis, will be headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with its shares listed on exchanges in Milan, New York, and Paris. The combination of its 14 brands will make Stellantis the world’s fourth-largest automaker, bringing Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, and Ram (FCA’s brands) together with Citroen, DS, Opel, Peugeot, and Vauxhall (PSA’s brands) under the same roof.
As mergers go, this one looks pretty sensible. Jeep and Ram have been FCA’s two real success stories, which has meant the company has had to rely on North American sales. PSA, on the other hand, has no real presence in North America but has strong sales in Europe, as well as more modern vehicle architectures and a more advanced electrification program.
It’s possible that some of those 14 brands may go by the wayside. Chrysler is down to just two models, the rather good Pacifica minivan and the rather antediluvian 300C. Things are even worse at Lancia, which now makes but a single vehicle, a small hatchback called the Ypsilon. However, FCA has stated it has no plans to close any plants.
PSA’s current boss, Carlos Tavares, will become Stellantis’ CEO, with FCA Chairman John Elkann assuming the role of Stellantis chairman.