The automotive industry is still in shock following the merger announcement of Peugeot (Groupe PSA) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. With that, the merger will result in the two having the most passenger car brands franchises under one roof with a total of 13. However, there were some questions as to whether or not the partnership will result in some brands being cut or sold off.
Speaking to French media, Groupe PSA CEO, Carlos Tavares, said that they will keep all of them. In an age where major automotive conglomerates are seeking to cut down the brands they own, this is a bold statement coming from Tavares, not to mention the challenge of keeping all 13 running and, most importantly, profitable.
The last time over a dozen brands were run and managed under one roof was in the mid-2000's with General Motors. That time, GM had Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Daewoo, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, and Vauxhall. But the challenge of keeping all these brands proved insurmountable for the American giant. Daewoo was sold off, and so was Saab, Opel and Vauxhall (ironically to PSA Groupe). Hummer, Oldsmobile, Saturn, and Pontiac were killed off as well. If anything, GM's downsizing should serve as a cautionary tale for the PSA-FCA merger.
Tavares said that, in order to keep all the brands, each one of them will be guided and run with a watchful eye and, at the same time, each brand will be true to their roots in order to not compete with each other. He admits that it is, indeed, a challenge, but all the brands under the merger have very strong traditions and histories that he believes that all cars under the 13 brands will remain unique. In essence, Tavaras' goal is to keep the 'character' in each car of each brand without resorting to badge engineering.
Groupe PSA, includes Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on the other hand owns brands such as Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, and Lancia. Can this merger succeed where GM failed? For the sake of over 400,000 employees, we sure hope so.
Source: Automotive News Europe