How to Rebrand Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles: The PSA Merger
The Big Question: Why Create This Series?
Answer: Because I am fed up with the FCA and its apparent lack of vision. Often times, auto-manufacturers over complicate simple things. For those familiar with how I write here on Hubpages, I write car articles but like to split them up into different sub-columns. These sub-columns are titled appropriately so you already have an idea of what you are getting into going into the article. One of these sub-columns is called "What the Car Company Should Have Done" or WTCCSHD for short. Basically, I'm taking a scenario in automotive history, most of them being fairly recent, and explaining how I would have done it. There is a derivative of WTCCSHD and its "What the Car Company Should Do." "How to Rebrand Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles" is a series that mixes the two, starting from 2016 with each brand and building up to about 2024, showcasing how I would change certain things in the past and how those changes lead to a more profitable future.
Question: Can you explain the PSA/FCA merger and how does it affect the rebuild?
Answer: The PSA/FCA Merger affects my rebuild a lot but in a good way. The shared tech, in theory, allows for more of the things I wanted the FCA to do by themselves to happen. For instance, an all-electric Chrysler brand is now reasonably possible. As for what the PSA/FCA Merger is, it's quite simple to explain.
The FCA has been looking for a partner to bail them out because their product sales have been lacking in quite a few areas where they really shouldn't be. And instead of trying to solve the situation themselves, they deemed that too hard of a challenge (this is America's third-largest auto manufacturer we are talking about) and tried to share the problem by merging with another company. After a General Motors merger was scoffed at and a merger with Renault was denied by Nissan, they finally found a partnership with the PSA. According to multiple sources, this merger is 50/50 split so everything should go smoothly, creating the fourth largest auto manufacturer in the world. The merger has benefits for both sides as well but for us enthusiasts, things may not go so smoothly.
The Pros & Cons of A PSA/FCA Merger
One of the biggest pros benefits the PSA, as merging with the FCA allows them to bring Peugeot back in the American market by their 2026 initial goal. It's also helpful to all brands, mostly the ones on the Fiat side of things, that need new innovative technology, EV & hybrid drivetrains and a foothold in Europe, something the FCA has really needed. The cons, this merger, to quote Car & Driver, is probably more about "stockholder value, future earnings, and potential for cost-saving synergies than about the product." What stands out there is cost-saving, which can quickly turn to cost-cutting. Alfa Romeo already fell victim to cost-cutting last year before the merger happened, with its plans for more models being squashed. The same can easily befall Maserati. And with PSA CEO Carlos Tavares at the helm, a man that is known for aggressive cost-cutting, don't be surprised if, on a larger scale, some brands get axed entirely. The PSA/FCA says they will retain all 13 brands but there is little to spare Fiat & Chrysler here in the U.S or Lancia and Vauxhall overseas in Europe.
So About That Rebuild...
Back into the land of fantasy now, were under my helm, I have turned the direction, the FCA was taking around for the better. A few things need to happen now. So going brand by brand here:
- This is one where there is not much to say. The PSA merger will help even more with the hybrid tech. But these brands should just stay the course, they are solid in their execution from where I left the last article off.
Fiat & Lancia:
- Are going to get their own articles, that's how long those are going to be. I will link them here when they are completed.
- Chrysler benefits greatly from the PSA merger, helping make the all-electric & hybrid tech more real. Add in the partnership with Waymo & BMW, and Chrysler is going places.
- On the Alfa-Romeo side of things, a real-life rumor has it that a track-focused Giulia Quadrifoglio GTA with 620 HP was coming around in 2020 as a 2021 model year, limited-run car. I dig it, so I'll incorporate it into my rebuild. On another real note, I feel Alfa-Romeo & Maserati have been shown they can't trust their parent company. An ounce each brand has stable footing, they should try to vie for their independence, in much the same way Ferrari did back in 2016.
Going back to fantasy land, Alfa Romeo & Maserati leaving the group would mean that by 2031, the U.S market PSFCA would only have Chrysler, SRT, Lancia, and Fiat as luxury brands here (a sign of where I'm taking Fiat in its rebuild article) and all those brands would have very different approaches to luxury. Peugeot and Dodge are the only mainstream consumer (non-luxury brands). And Ram & Jeep would both be specialty brands, specifically focusing on SUV's and trucks. Not bad. Meanwhile, with Alfa & Maserati still apart of the PSFCA, they would be encroaching on Fiat's market share. With Alfa & Maserati gone independent, that's no longer a concern.
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