Brand Cull? Tavares Claims PSA-FCA Merger Won't Lead to Bloodbath
There may still be a chance for a new Fifth Avenue. Carlos Tavares, CEO of France’s PSA Groupe and head of a future combined entity, claims the looming merger between his company and Fiat Chrysler will not leave dead brands scattered across the landscape.
There’ll still be a role for such flagging brands as, well, Fiat and Chrysler, the executive implied. It’s not hard to see how rumors of a brand cull could get started, considering this merger is all about finding efficiencies.
As reported by Automotive News, Tavares appeared on French television on Friday to allay fears of a massive automaker (the world’s fourth-largest) with fewer marques.
“It is part of the challenge to properly manage these brands to cover the market,” Tavares told BFM Business.
“I see that all these brands, without exception, have one thing in common: they have a fabulous history. We love the history of car brands, it gives us a foundation on which we can project ourselves into the future. So today, I don’t see any need, if this deal is concluded, to remove brands because they all have their history and they all have their strengths.”
Under Tavares’ post-2013 leadership, PSA turned itself around, soon gaining the financial clout to buy Opel and Vauxhall from a cash-hungry General Motors. Over at FCA, several marques have run into trouble of late, with Alfa Romeo’s future output recently being cut back, Maserati running aground amid a lack of attention from its parent, Chrysler shedding models like a defoliating autumn tree (does the Voyager count?), and Fiat shrinking in its home market while practically disappearing in North America.
Still, Tavares claims he’d like the PSA-FCA entity to host fewer brands than Volkswagen Group, which has 10. The PSA-FCA tie-up would bring 13 passenger car brands under one corporate umbrella. Tavares’ comment is at odds with his assurances that some marques would have to give way in the interest of efficiency.
With the merger not yet finalized and Tavares not yet in charge of the whole operation (with right-hand man Mike Manley likely overseeing North America), the future of all but the most profitable brands are still shrouded in haze. It’s a time-will-tell scenario.
[Image: Daniel J. Macy/Shutterstock]
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