Which Brands Will Die In Chrysler-PSA Merger?
The merger between Fiat-Chrysler and PSA Group is finalized with both parties signing the paperwork. It will take a while to absorb the impact of 14 brands across the world now housed within one company. With this much coming together you know some will be killed off from overlap or lack of significant sales. We can give you our best shot at determining which brands will die in the next few months and why.
With 14 brands producing over 8.7 million vehicles a year the new FCA/PSA company will be the fourth largest auto manufacturer in the world. But there are brands that have not made money in 20 years, and some that have so few sales of such shop-worn products they can’t possibly continue. From forecasts like Automotive News to actual sales and also obvious overlap, there are brands on the bubble. Let’s take a look at all 14, shall we?
This is the high-performance group for Fiat. It’s like AMG is to Mercedes. Some Fiat products will survive, and many of the top executives with the new company are racing enthusiasts. Combine the two and there is no reason to kill off Abarth. The only question mark is with the tighter emissions rules taking effect in Europe at the start of 2020, Abarth needs something to offset its portfolio, and quick. But for now it looks safe from getting the ax.
As much as it was expected to thrive in its comeback to the US sales have been dismal. The Mito hatchback and sexy 4C coupe and spider have already been killed. That leaves the Giulietta and Giulia-both cars, and the Stelvio SUV which sells just over 45,000 units. Since cars are generally not selling, and Alfa’s in particular, the Stelvio looks to be the only current product that has any chance. Global sales will be less than 100,000 units for 2019. FCA has already said it was only launching a small and compact SUV in the near future. That’s not a good sign either. Expect Alfa Romeo to be killed off. That’s one down.
For years there have been talks about Citroen re-entering the US. With a range of vehicles and a new focus on comfort it looks to be one of the pillars of the new company. But launching new brand in the US is not easy. Would it make more sense to rebadge them as Dodge or Chrysler? Maybe not because neither have a strong presence. Dodge has been able to push aging sedans as modern muscle cars, but is that an image Citroen would want or need? Still, figure it will stay.
Once known as a luxury and near-luxury brand, it has only two models; the 300 sedan and Pacifica minivan. The brand has nothing recognizable and no presence in buyer’s minds. There are no plans in any forecasts for new models before 2024. This will be another casualty of the merger. That’s two down.
This is an upscale brand based on Citroen. This was mainly a play for the Chinese market for luxury cars. Even with new models sales took a dive in 2018. Now the joint venture between PSA and the Chinese will be dissolved. Even with a couple of new models in the pipeline, without sales in China, it plays no part in any future discussions. Consider this casualty number three.
Dodge produces five products and none of them have seen any major upgrades or replacements in a long time. With overall production at 550,000, they are still selling, at least for now. No new models have been announced for Dodge which makes it impossible to get through the next few years. It will soldier on for a few more years until sales slide or the new organization needs the assembly capacity. But whatever is the case, this brand will be gone. That’s four down.
This is the second-largest brand in the new company. With everything from the little 500 to its commercial trucks, it cuts a wide cloth. Does the question become what does it bring to the table that PSA doesn’t already have? It will survive for now and maybe one of the winners in shared components.
One of the crown jewels of the FCA merger has increased sales substantially in the last few years. It produces 1.55 million units worldwide. Jeep combined with Ram and the general dealer network in the US have to be the impetus behind the merger from PSA’s perspective. It will only see expansion over the next few years.
With only one brand and no recognition in the US, it won’t be around for very long. This will be victim number five
Considered a premium brand it could well play a decent role in the merger. FCA’s plans were to launch seven new models between now and 2023. It definitely plays into the future of the company. It has brand recognition in the US and can play a role in the upper segments of the market. It will stick around.
Once GM’s European side of the company, it had a terrible time making any money for the General. Continuing in the red, it was sold to PSA in 2017. Now, it’s making a profit. But it lost hundreds of millions of dollars for years under GM’s control. It sells right at 1 million units a year. It plans on entering the Russian market soon which will increase sales. It is also developing an electric vehicle based on its CMP platform.
Selling almost 1.75 million vehicles a year, this is the largest brand in the merged company. Around since 1889 it staved off collapse with Dongfeng Motors of China and the French government purchasing stakes in Peugeot. New models are being developed that will debut soon including an electric variant. It will enjoy increased profits with new synergies within the merged company.
As stated earlier, Ram is one of the most important parts of the merger. Sales continue to spike, and the Ram 1500 surpassed Chevy’s Silverado as the number two truck sold in the US.
There have already been comments that because it is the only volume brand in England Vauxhall will be sticking around. With Brexit hovering over everything within England this could be a key brand in Europe. It will remain around for the foreseeable future.