By on January 19, 2021

Stellantis

Stellantis, the merger between Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, became effective on Saturday, January 16th. The world’s fourth-largest carmaker has emerged, a surprise to no one.

For those of you who were wondering, Stellantis’ common shares began trading on Euronext in Paris and Mercato Telematico Azionario in Milan on Monday, while we were observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If you have a few bucks to spare, trading on the New York Stock Exchange begins today, and the ticker symbol is STLA.

Stellantis

The courtship of Groupe PSA by FCA has been covered previously, with the announcement of who at Peugeot will run the show. To most Americans, the five Groupe PSA brands are vaguely unfamiliar. Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall. The FCA brands, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, and Maserati, are storied, some even iconic. This of course begs the question, why are the French running the show?

In a dance reminiscent of the marriage between Nissan and Renault, will this union produce similar results? Will there be diminishing returns more widely dispersed, or is this going to be the global juggernaut that achieves dominance in every market in which it has an entry? Only time will tell if the $38 billion deal fizzles out like the remake of The Gong Show, or it endures as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe have.

[Images: Stellantis, Groupe PSA]

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46 Comments on “Stellantis Merger Now Playing at a Dealer Near You...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    FIAT raided the North American piggy jar to support it’s Euro brands. Why expect anything different from Peugeot running the show? Except now there are two Euro dependents to support. Désolé Chrysler and Dodge. You are the American stepchildren.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      The Germans didn’t understand the American market, the vulture capitalists didn’t care, the Italians were disinterested. :-)
      The French, however, are famous for laziness, haughty arrogance, and weird flimsy cars.
      :-/

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        More historical ignorance from the guy who thought Francisco Franco was French. But I digress. If not for France, we’d be singing “God Save The Queen” before baseball games.

        I know history class was boring, but staying awake for it had its’ benefits.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfwagen

        I don’t disagree.
        I don’t see PSA ownership of Chrysler lasting any longer than DB (9 yrs), Cerberus (7 yrs) or FCA (6 yrs).
        The next question is who is next in line? Japanese?, Korean?, Indian?, Chinese?

        Is it time to start warming up the Chrysler Deathwatch Machine?

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          If you’re talking about the Chrysler nameplate (and Dodge), they may give way to French models, or the nameplates continue to be used, with PSA underpinnings.

          If you’re talking about Chrysler Corporation, it’s gone. It was merged with Fiat, and is just an historic name whose history is now owned by Stellantis.

          Carlos Tavares is in charge now, and he may not bring PSA nameplates back to the US, but he may also not keep the Chrysler brand after the demise of the 300. The Dodge RWD platform can carry on the big V8 hemi heritage, since it makes money.

          Chances are the major restructuring will be in Europe, with Fiat, Peugeot, Opel, and Vauxhall getting some heavy cost cutting, and some of the smaller brands reduced or eliminated.

          Tavares is a champion cost cutter, but also an empire builder. Watching what he does rationalizing the two companies and altering the offerings in different markets should be very interesting.

        • 0 avatar
          MoDo

          Cerberus didn’t own them for 7 years lol, closer to 7 minutes. Tavares just did a press conference, no French brands to be brought over here, makes more sense to rebuild Dodge and Chrysler. The guy apparently has a brain, I am impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            thegamper

            I think it makes more sense to bring over DS selling French goods since Americans have no association with the brand. A clean slate would be better use of money than trying to rebuild Chrysler and Dodge. I really dont think there are too many people longing to have Chrysler and Dodge vehicles back in their garage. It will have a Kia-like uphill climb to battle those brands back from the bargain basement public perceptions and history of less than average (poor?) quality.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @thegamper:

            To me, the DS line looks a lot like Acura – a sedan and a bunch of CUVs. They’re not bad looking, but are they really compelling enough to build a brand new luxury line around? Even if it did offer compelling stuff, it’d take a long, long time for the brand to gain any real traction.

            If they want a separate luxury brand, I’d stick with fleshing out Alfa and/or Maserati. At least they’re already here.

            But I don’t think Alfa or Maserati will be revitalized. I think the “luxury” line for Stellantis’ domestic offerings will be the upper-range Ram and Jeep SUVs.

            But if they wanted to incorporate the DS platforms, I think they could do so pretty easily in order to modernize the Jeep and Dodge CUV lines.

          • 0 avatar

            DS says nothing to me. Even I being from Europe will not notice.

          • 0 avatar

            I think it would be easier to keep Dodge and Chrysler then build a new brand. There are lots of people out there who still have a fondness for the old brands. Bring them new models and you have a built in customer base that would have to be completely created for say Peugeot. 4 years ago dodge was selling half a millon cars a year getting that volume out of just introduced brand would take years.

        • 0 avatar
          3SpeedAutomatic

          Of course, it’s the Chinese that would take over in 5 to 10 years.

          The have Rover & Volvo, and God knows who else.

          FCA will be ejected once once Carlos Tavares realizes his blunder.

          The prized pig in all of this will be the JEEP brand.

        • 0 avatar
          zerofoo

          The Jeep curse continues to claim victims.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    “why are the French running the show?”
    I think Eisenhower asked that same question when he first got to Europe.

  • avatar
    Kookanoodles

    “why are the French running the show?”

    I don’t know, perhaps because FCA was a woefully mismanaged group headed straight for bankruptcy, completely behind everybody else in electrification and platform sharing and being kept on life support by only Jeep and RAM, while PSA was well-managed, profitable and technologically up to date?

    Just a hunch.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    For those into urban forsetry, the Arc de Triomphe is getting a make-over.
    https://www.timeout.com/news/pariss-most-famous-street-is-becoming-a-huge-urban-garden-011821

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    STLA, not to be confused with TSLA. Yikes.

    The Chrysler brand is doomed, I think.

  • avatar
    TR4

    The merger worked so well for British Leyland…

  • avatar
    ajla

    “This of course begs the question, why are the French running the show?”

    Take the money and run was always the plan on the FCA side. I expect the American upper management will be golden parachuting out over the next 12 months, as will most of the Italian ones although a few will stick around to exploit money from their government.

    As for the future of the Chrysler and Dodge brands? Who knows? FCA largely left them a blank slate for their new “partners” so the French can now mold them as they see fit. That may mean killing them and replacing the showroom space with the French brands, that may mean rebadges, or that may mean new investment.

    I personally think the future of the three Italian brands (Fiat, Alfa, and Maserati) will end up tougher because the Italians won’t let any of those go quietly even though they are limping cash bonfires.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I don’t see French brands coming to the US.

      French brands have a poor reputation here, and establishing a nationwide support network, plus Federalizing the product portfolio, would be enormously expensive and time-consuming.

      Internet enthusiasts cherry-pick the French vehicles they might enjoy, but in reality exceptionally few people are going to spring for them.

      Perhaps there will be French engineering in addition to the cross-pollination of American and Italian engineering as seen with FCA. That wouldn’t be all bad. In fact, they’ll almost certainly do this to reduce total corporate development costs. The use of UVO infotainment and the Chrysler 8-speed auto in Alfas and Maseratis has been good for those brands, for example.

      Fiat is toast here in the US. I expect that one to go away soon. Cars.com shows no (zero) 2021 Fiats in stock in the US. What a wasted opportunity.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfwagen

        IMHO, Fiat never had much going for it other than the Abarth. Tiny retro-styled cars only last so long (short of Mini) and making them larger just looks silly (500L). Hell, they couldn’t even come up with a new spider short of going to Mazda!

        I think Alfa is dead too. They had a chance to come to the US and show that they were a decent car and not just a freshened up version of the past. They should have shot for Hyundai, Kia, and the Japanese brands and Instead, they wanted to play with BMW and Audi with worse quality.

        Maseratis will probably live on as expensive toys for the wealthy

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        French imports never had a decent support network of dealers and parts. Now they do, with FCA dealers and Mopar parts distribution.

        With the merger, Stellantis now has a full system in place to sell in volume in the American market. Opel models may make it here, since they’re familiar to mechanics who worked on Buicks.

        There are all kinds of opportunities for Stellantis here. First though, there has to be slashing of corporate overlap, and most of that will happen in europe.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think Dodge has a path forward – sportier CUVs with more “attitude.” I think the “sporty CUV” segment has some potential. That, plus Ram, is going to keep the current Dodge/Ram stores busy.

      I don’t see Chrysler surviving. Jeep is their defacto “premium” brand now.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “If you have a few bucks to spare, trading on the New York Stock Exchange begins today, and the ticker symbol is STLA.”

    Investment advice I have received in these pages:
    – Short TSLA
    – Go long F

    Think I’ll sit this one out, thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Agreed. There are basically two reasons to pick a stock to hold: a good dividend return and/or prospects for share price increase as time goes on.
      Given the amount of investment in new product that will need to be done, the dividends are likely not going to be there. Future stock price is always a gamble… and this is an unknown company. For stock pickers (instead of mutual fund investors), there are many better options out there. Stellantis might come out a big winner, but I wouldn’t put my money there.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    In the long run, this may be a very good thing for the current FCA – a lot of their stuff is getting VERY long in the tooth, and Renault has plenty of fresher platforms to use.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    How these future Stellantis vehicles will look, drive, or run remains to be seen, bu the French at least have a large diverse roster of vehicles they could import and/or restyle as Dodges and (especially)Chryslers if they wanted. All Fiat had were small, dinky vehicles which prevented them from offering U.S. competitive right-sized models in most vehicle classes.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    This deal doesn’t really do much to help Alfa or Maserati apart from perhaps generating more investment for them. Gut feeling is they will be sold or another acquisition sought. Problem is there aren’t many obvious companies to buy or sell to.

  • avatar
    3SpeedAutomatic

    Carlos Tavares is a fool if he thinks he can re-introduce the Peugeot , Citroën, or Opel brands into the North American market. Just look what happen to Alfa & FIAT.

    What he should do:

    1) Rationalize the number of platforms:
    a) small passenger car/city van/SUV/hybrid (All brands)
    b) compact pickup (selling well in the Americas and Europa)
    c) full size pickup (N_America only)
    d) full size van (Americas, Europa, Russia, China)
    e) EVs (world wide)
    f) Maybe a sports coupe

    2) Focus on quality and price. Speed reserved for Maserati,

    3) Judicious use of band names as per market (Chrysler-Dodge-RAM, the Americas); Opel-Chitroen-Peugeot-FIAT-Maserati, (Europa, China); and joint ventures in India and Russia to leverage significant swings in these markets.

    JEEP is the only world wide brand and it has to be defended rigorously. If in double, just look at the Bronco Sport. Ford has a valid contender which will eat some JEEP sales.

    Carlos needs to pick his fights carefully or he will squander precious resources!! Even Toyota knows this.

    World Domination is fools gold. Just ask KIA in several years when its looking for a rescue partner.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Well, Tavares was a step ahead of you. From earlier today:

      “Tavares said that, unlike French rival Renault, there are no plans for the Peugeot brand to re-enter the U.S. market, where Stellantis will continue to focus on leveraging the strength of existing nameplates like Jeep and Ram.”

      https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/stellantis-ceo-merger-shield-job-cuts

      World domination is not on his calendar, either.

      He turned Opel around in 18 months, which GM couldn’t do in 18 years. The man is no fool.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        “Quick” in at least two ways…

        “He has since competed in more than 500 races as an amateur driver”

        https://tinyurl.com/yy7jdsxw

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          • Chief executive of Stellantis: Make presentations in 5 slides or less.

          “Bloomberg News spoke with half a dozen people who have worked closely with Tavares. They describe him as ultra-competitive with a dogged attention to detail. He doesn’t tolerate meetings starting late or dragging on and asks underlings to make presentations in five slides or less.”

          https://tinyurl.com/yy7jdsxw

          • Chief executive of USA: Here’s a 200-page summary for Covid-19.

          https://tinyurl.com/y4scdw92

  • avatar

    I got a Peugeot Teepee truck once as a loaner. TBF, it was diesel and manual. The rental agent in Barcelona gave this to me after hearing I was skiing in Andorra (go to the Alps instead, trust me) and I refused an upsell to an Audi A6 for some insane price. My only experience with the brand, well…nope. The radio was incomprehensible. Tuning FM shouldn’t be rough. It drove meh, I did wish I’d gotten the Golf I’d reserved (ha !) back home. My overall impression was that after 200 miles or so, we weren’t missing that particular brand here in the US.

  • avatar
    Victor

    Here’s what will happen:

    1) Fiat will get the axe in the US, and likely a new Punto in Europe. It will soldier on with PSA platforms much like Opel/Vauxhall are doing these days.
    2) Jeep will stay where it is; Dodge might get some crossovers to show for, mostly as cheap versions of whatever Jeep gets.
    3) Peugeot won’t come to America, neither Citroën or DS.
    4) Americans will keep believing Chrysler is still a thing. It isn’t.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree/disagree. Tavares is smart and knows the value of brands within their sales regions. Opel/Vauxhall being a perfect example. Chrysler/Dodge have been starved for product. They will get PSA platform versions of various models and they will not try to reintroduce Peugeot/Citroen here.

  • avatar
    Nick

    I’ve been taking Stellantis for my high blood pressure for years.

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