Hopes and Dreams - Fiat Chrysler and PSA to merge.


Several days ago, news broke that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Groupe PSA had agreed to merge their businesses, thus creating the world's 4th largest automaker. This came along after FCA's years-long search for a new partner, which began during the tenure of its former, late Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne.

It is worth noting, of course, that the merger had not been finalised as of yet. The terms are pending approval from their respective shareholders, with labour unions concerned, that the merger would not benefit its workers. Once approved, it will result in the creation of a new mega-corporation, and underneath it, will sit 15 different car brands, from Italy, France, and the United States.

Amongst the members of this new family, are - Citroën, Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot, DS, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Mopar.

But as the corporate bureaucrats start shifting around paperwork, and consulting with their lawyers, there remains a question, as to what effect this merger would have on us, car enthusiasts.


The Purge has commenced.

As with every corporate merger or acquisition, there exists the need to synergise and harmonise the businesses of the respective entities that are being combined. This will no doubt, result in the closure of certain departments and divisions, or otherwise, its reorganisation to a shadow of its former self.

Unfortunately, for the sake of efficiency and cost-cutting to produce maximal profitability, this would have an effect on future models of a new FCA-PSA conglomerate.

As such, this mentality may have ultimately influenced FCA's decision to slim down Alfa Romeo's planned portfolio, with the culling of 2 future halo cars, the GTV and 8C. While Alfa's stable remains strong, with the Giulia and the Stelvio, I'm sure that the Alfisti, and many enthusiasts around the world were disappointed. It would've been great to see Alfa experimenting, and further developing a new halo car.

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This left me wondering, as to how many other brands, whose line-ups are prime for gutting. There are currently many models in FCA and PSA's respective divisions that would overlap, and eventually compete against one another.

While their individual brands have character and distinction, most of them sell within the same market segment, which is manufacturing mass-produced, and accessibly priced cars. Wouldn't there be competition between FCA's Fiat Panda, and PSA's Citroën C3? Or perhaps between Fiat's Tipo, and Opel's Astra?

There's also the plethora of small crossovers and minivans that are shared between them. Would FCA-PSA allow this (step) sibling rivalry be allowed under one roof?

This purge would also cast an uncertain cloud over a once legendary brand that has recently fallen on hard times - Lancia. Lancia currently manufactures ONE car, befitting its current mandate of rebadging bland Fiats from their back catalogue. This is an affront, and a shame to Lancia's legacy of automotive and motorsports prowess.

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It has been clear, that FCA's bigwigs aren't convinced, from a purely business perspective, to revive Lancia. In fact, browsing through Lancia's website has been a painful experience for me. So, for the sake of saving costs, would the merger possibly be the death knell for the once storied Lancia brand?


The Fountain of Youth.

Yet, behind all the facts and figures, there remains a glimmer of hope for the enthusiast. We in recent years, have been subjugated and starved, as corporations continue to prioritise profits over passion, we hoped that in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

With a merger between FCA and PSA, there is a hope that the sharing of knowledge, resources, and traditions between the companies, would help to revitalise some of the vehicles that have long been in need of some chutzpah.

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Imagine combining some of the legacy, passion, and zest from FCA, with PSA's renewed aura and technological tour de force. This could have the potential to recreate some of their cars, with a focus on fun and enjoyment, rather than whether it would be possible to shave off a few cents to cheapen build quality.

Take for example, the advanced electrified powertrain from Peugeot's new 208, technology which FCA does not yet have in production, then putting it into the peppy and fun, little Fiat 500, which many people adore, and is long overdue for a refresh.

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Electrification, in my opinion, is the new way forward for mass development and deployment of automobiles, to help reduce global emissions, and allowing for the salvation of the internal combustion engines for enthusiasts, like us. Thus, it would be beneficial for FCA and PSA to share its platforms, and provide more choices for the consumer, in the way of electric vehicles.

Another example, would be helping to cope with some of Maserati's weaknesses. While the brand has its unique identity and driving pleasure, consumers remain unappeased by Maserati's offerings, especially when compared to other luxury brands, such as their German counterparts.

They have failed in 2 key aspects of modern luxury cars - quality and technology. Maserati's mechanical reliability has long been a concern, and its interiors are adorned with sumptuous leather, but then combined with cheap plastics. They're lacking in tech as well, with relatively outdated infotainment systems, and lacklustre driver aids.



While there is a large price gap between Maserati and PSA's cars, they can look for inspiration here considering the leaps and bounds made by PSA, evident in Peugeot's new 508, and the DS 7. This venture, could help to make the ownership experience of a Maserati, so much more special and enjoyable.

Moreover, the merger could also bring good news to our colleagues Stateside. As PSA cars are not sold in the US, one of the world's largest car markets, a combined entity could bring Peugeot, Citroën, DS, and maybe Vauxhall/Opel onto its streets.


Good times to come?

There are still many unknowns that could be a consequence of the merger between FCA and PSA. Is there a chance, that we could see the return of automotive past, with the revival of the glory days? Or would we be succumbed to seeing some of our beloved cars ceased from production, because they're no longer relevant?

Personally, I would like to see them focus on making cars more fun and enjoyable, with less corporate staleness. It doesn't have to be high-performance, or complicated in design to win people's hearts. I want to see a return of an era when cars were colourful, simple, and quirky. That's the future that I'm hoping for.

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I will be posting another article soon on my wishlist for the cars that could result from a new FCA and PSA family. After gutting the GTV and 8C, surely we need to be recompensed, right?

Sources: Top Gear, AutoCar, MotorAuthority, Peugeot, Fiat, Citroën, Lancia, Maserati, DS, ClassicDriver, Bring a Trailer


What do you think about the merger between FCA-PSA? Could they bring back the legends of the past, maybe revive Lancia, and some other cars from their history books? Share your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to follow along @zacknorman97 for more :-)

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Comments 12


Hi zacknorman97,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit curiesteem.com or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

04.11.2019 20:15
1

Wow, thank you so much for the support @curie!

I greatly appreciate it. This really helps me to improve more on my writing and engagement with the Steem community :-)

04.11.2019 20:20
1

Quick word: I want to say thank you to everyone who has voted and supported me, with this post.

This is also the first time I made it onto the Trending page of any tag group, and I'm very excited (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Posted using Partiko Android

04.11.2019 20:27
0

Expect many cars to disappear. It's all about profits.

04.11.2019 20:38
1

Yes, you might be right @oldtimer, I'm afraid.

It's very likely carmakers will soon simplify their portfolios significantly to counteract limited profitability from EVs.

That said, I do hope that whatever culling that they may do won't take away all the charm and fun.

04.11.2019 20:48
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Hello Hello!

I think it's absolutely great to talk about this topic and express its advantages and disadvantages, I think you deserve much more recognition for your explanation

Greetings from Venezuela

04.11.2019 23:56
1

Thanks for your support and sentiments @iamsaray :-)

For me, cars are a big part of our lives, and with the shift towards electrification and autonomy, the car industry is in the limelight more now, than in the past few decades.

Greetings from Malaysia!

05.11.2019 04:49
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Hi. What an interesting post. I think that beyond the merger of automobile corporations the most important thing is the new product. I have been waiting for something new for many years. In essence the cars remain the same; An electric motor that runs at high speed and with great autonomy has not been achieved. The designs remain similar.
When I re-read Henry Ford I sincerely admire his vision. I also admire the innovations of the machines of F, 1 but in general, in the everyday world, on the motorways we use, the vehicles are very similar....
For now, like you, I hope this fusion brings new dreams. A cordial greeting @zacknorman97

05.11.2019 02:35
1

And greetings to you too, @marcybetancourt, and thank you for the interesting comment :-)

I do think that the most important aspect of any industry is the end product that is used by people from around the world.

For general consumers and enthusiasts alike, we can agree that automotive landscape has been rather bland for the past few years. There is no doubt that cars today are much better than they were before - they're faster, safer, more efficient...

But I do agree that cars are becoming more alike with one another, without much real change to make them feel special.

There is, nevertheless, an equilibrium that must be balanced by carmakers. On one hand, you have people like me, who enjoys cars from the olden days, with their analogue and mechanical construction; on the other, you have general consumers who want more technology and ease of use in the way of driving.

It'll be interesting to see how it'll play out.

05.11.2019 05:01
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Sorry I was long to answer to your post (very interesting by the way and you deserve all the upvotes).

I'm afraid that this merger is only economies of scale, develop a common chassis for all to reduce costs. I hope that the teams of designers will have the audacity to propose something new from the history of all these brands (Citroën with the old DS, Lancia...).

07.11.2019 14:05
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No need for apologies @heroldius, though I'm glad to hear your thoughts on this :-)

Realistically, I do share your opinions on this; in that this merger is only for business sake. Making new EV platforms, autonomous tech, etc. is becoming more expensive nowadays, and they'll need to share costs.

Though I do admit there could be potential to improve their cars overall with parts sharing - look at what Hyundai/Kia, and Renault/Nissan can do (let's hope this won't be a repeat of the Daimler-Chrysler era again).

I sure hope they'll have the audacity to make some bold new moves to bring back their legacy (in fact, on your last point - I will be writing some posts on that soon).

I mean, Renault had the courage to bring back the Alpine A110, and that took the automotive world by storm.

07.11.2019 14:13
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