Brand Cull? Tavares Claims PSA-FCA Merger Won't Lead to Bloodbath

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
3 of 44 comments
  • Akear Akear on Nov 11, 2019

    According to recent news reports the Trump administration is reviewing the deal because the Chinese have a 12 percent stake in PSA. The deal may fall through.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Nov 11, 2019

      From what I've read on other sites, the Chinese have a 6.5% stake in the company. When did it double?

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 11, 2019

    Can Trump block this merger because FCA is incorporated as a Dutch corporation. True FCA makes Ram, Jeeps, Chryslers, and Dodges is the USA but Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Kia make vehicles in the USA as well. Trump can tweet and talk but being incorporated in another country makes it harder to control.

  • Jeff Of all the EV trucks I like the Rivian the best but I am still years away if ever from buying an EV.
  • Kwik_Shift I definitely like the looks of the newest 300s over the Chargers.
  • SCE to AUX "Should car companies shack up with tech giants in order to produce legible infotainment systems and the like? Or should they go it alone?"Great question(s).The River Rouge days are gone, where Ford produced whole cars out of raw materials entering the plant at the other end. Nearly everything is outsourced these days - sometimes well, sometimes disastrously.But the problem with infotainment systems is that they are integrated with the car's operation. VW has delayed entire products for issues with infotainment.For me, the question boils down to a contractual arrangement - who owns and maintains the code forever? Since more and more of the car's function is tied to the infotainment system, I'd argue that the car mfr needs to own it - especially the larger ones.Do mfrs really want to share intellectual property with Huawei just to fast-track some code they've managed themselves in the past?
  • Kwi65728132 I always did like the styling of the 300C and it was on my short list for a new (to me) rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated V8 luxury sedan but I found a Hyundai Equus that was better optioned than any 300C I could find and for several grand less.
  • Redapple2 .....300S ....and Charger and Challenger, have been long overdue for an update, but still sell well. Thx EPA