By on March 6, 2019

Image: FCA

Ford and Volkswagen cosied up last year, cementing their relationship in an automotive alliance announced earlier this year, but could the same thing happen with Fiat Chrysler and France’s resurgent PSA Group?

PSA, which plans to sell Peugeots in North America by 2026, is reportedly hunting for a partner, and FCA Mike Manley isn’t ruling out the possibility.

The speculation stems from a Monday Bloomberg report, which stated PSA wants to partner with another automaker to help its global sales push. Sources claim PSA CEO Carlos Tavares met with advisors to explore a merger, partnership, or alliance — any form of tie-up that could help his company sell more vehicles in new markets.

In the CEO’s sights are FCA, Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata, and possibly even General Motors, the sources claim. Of the three, FCA was particularly attractive. PSA currently sources 80 percent of its global sales from Europe, whereas FCA is making inroads across the globe with its Jeep brand.

Asked about the issue at the Geneva Motor Show, Manley responded, “We have a strong independent future, but if there is a partnership, a relationship or a merger which strengthens that future I will look at that.”

He added, interestingly, that FCA wouldn’t close the door on “any deal that would make Fiat stronger.” Fiat finds itself in trouble worldwide, with certain small models falling out of favor in Europe and a North American brand reentry that fizzled after leaving the launch pad.

Tavares confirmed he’s game shortly thereafter. Responding to Manley’s sort-of overture, Tavares said, “We love to discuss with people who are looking for deals,” adding that, in today’s climate of shifting public tastes and rapidly evolving technology, “if we don’t move, then we die.”

For PSA, hopping into bed with FCA would help it gain access to American buyers and possibly even offer up opportunities for local production. The French automaker has said it plans to import vehicles from Europe and China as it finds its footing in the U.S.

While on the mic, Manley took the time to refute rumors that FCA’s Maserati brand is currently up for grabs, potentially to China’s Geely. Spinoff rumors once hounded Manley’s predecessor, Sergio Marchionne, who eventually admitted the Italian luxury marque wasn’t mature enough to stand on its own.

“Maserati is one of our really beautiful brands and it has an incredibly bright future… No,” Manley told reporters.

[Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg]

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16 Comments on “FCA’s Manley Open to Alliances, but Won’t Relinquish Grasp on Maserati...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So are you saying that Mike is too manly to give up Maserati?

  • avatar

    From what I have read PSA has already made Opel profitable. This illustrates how bad GM management really is.

    http://gmauthority.com/blog/2018/07/psa-does-what-gm-couldnt-opel-returns-to-profitability/

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Just give Puegeot the Fiat dealerships, they’re already setup to stock several model years worth of unmovable Euro oddities.

    On the other hand apparently a lot of Americans already think Peugeot is back based on the number of comments I get on my “Peugeot”.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      https://youtu.be/4XC-Ymsi94o

      American Boy – Eddie Rabbit

      I’m an American boy.
      Drive me a Chevy ain’t got no Peugeot.
      My older brother was a GI-Joe.
      Red white and blue from my head to my toes

      ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      Serpens

      @Hummer

      That’s not fair though. Remember:

      The companies said GM will keep most Opel-Vauxhall pension plans except for a German active employees and some smaller plans that will be transferred to PSA. GM will pay PSA about $3.18 billion to settle transferred pension obligations and GM will keep $6.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

      Easy to make a profit when giant lead weights are on the previous owners and not you.

  • avatar
    NoID

    I can’t say it doesn’t make sense. Partnering with PSA might make each brand’s respective small and midsize car business viable through technology and production sharing, and each has strengths in regions where the other is weak.

    All that remains is determining the order of the letters in the new name…

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Perhaps a Peugeot avec une chat d’enfer?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Partnering doesn’t necessarily mean merging. Ford never mergered with Mazda but they shared platforms for years. Chrysler never mergered with Mitsubishi yet they shared platforms and hardware for years. Ford is not necessarily mergering with VWG yet they already plan to share platforms and assembly lines.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    I can see why PSA is interested in FCA, GM and Tata. FCA gives them instant success in the USA and increased volume in Europe. Alfa and Maserati some premium brands.

    GM reunites a profitable Opel with GM but critically also gives them North American success and success in China.

    Tata gives them access to India and JLR gives them brands with premium recognition plus a bit more volume in Europe. Also PSA could help grow JLR quicker than Tata by leveraging its European dealer network.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind a sneaky side bet on PSA tying the knot with Tata and GM or FCA. I think for PSA it’s GM or FCA but not both. Tata could be the cherry on top.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    PSA already has a “partnership” – with the Chinese government. The state-owned automaker Dongfeng owns 14 % of PSA, and is no doubt pulling the strings at the ostensibly French automaker. How else could PSA be in a position to purchase another automaker (Opel-Vauxhall) five minutes after narrowly escaping a bankruptcy threat of its own, if not with a supply of Chinese money?

    Manley should be man enough to say no to a deal involving the Chinese government.

  • avatar

    I did not get comment about Maserati. Why should they sell it to Chinese and what then about Chrysler – that is more pressing issue. Maserati is easily fixed. They are overpriced. FCA needs to price them reasonably – more affordable than BMW or Mercedes – the same thing that Lexis did. Otherwise it make s zero sense to buy Maserati without say $20,000 on the hood or even better to buy it slightly used.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    They would be very stupid to sell Maserati – yeah, right now they are weak but the brand is going electric eventually. That Maserati badge is going to have merit among a sea of electrics one day.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    PSA and Fiat have partnered before.

    For years they’ve been building vans together – the RAM ProMaster for example is sold as a Peugeot and a Citroen.

    During the Minivan phase they sold common models, differentiated by grilles.


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