The Italian-American-French affair takes yet another turn.
After FCA sources reported last week that they’d rebuffed the idea of a merger with Groupe PSA (owing to the way the French concern intended to fund the marriage), it seems that the door wasn’t shut all the way. Fiat-Chrysler & Groupe PSA are talking about the possibility of tackling electrification together, in a move that would dramatically decrease the investment costs required by each firm in order to effectively tackle the next wave of personal mobility.
Groupe PSA is quite a way ahead in this regard, after having announced that all of its models will offer varying levels of electrification, from ‘none at all’ to ‘plug-in hybrid,’ all the way up to ‘full-electric.’ Its flagship DS7 Crossback and new DS3 Crossback models have already been launched with full e-Tense plug-in and full-electric variants on the way.
FCA on the other hand, given its focus on larger vehicles that appeal predominantly to the North American market, are on the back foot. Mild-hybrid is a relatively new addition to their arsenal, and with the intent to be globally competitive, FCA most certainly needs to jump aboard the electrification train, and soon.
Sources speaking to Automotive News Europe have disclosed that FCA & PSA are talking about a “super platform,” a modular, highly-customisable base that both companies can fully utilise across all major segments. Tying up would allow PSA to recoup some of the investments its already made towards the cause by sharing it across a larger product range, and FCA would get to save a whole ton of capital by working forwards from where PSA currently is, rather than from square one.
With some 60-million EVs predicted to be sold annually from the year 2040, there’s little doubt that electrification is a firm fixture in whatever discussions there may be. PSA boss Carlos Tavares, speaking to The Wall Street Journal, said that there are no “specific” parties that PSA is in discussions with, nor are there any ongoing “deep” negotiations. He underlined that PSA has “continuous discussions” with “no specific target.”