The tie-up between PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be completed sooner than expected. Bloomberg reports that the two automakers are looking to complete the merger as quickly as possible, potentially finalizing it before the end of January. However, it wouldn’t be too far ahead of schedule. When the two announced their merger in late 2019, they also tentatively set a Q1 2021 deadline to finish the deal.
People familiar with the matter allege that disruptions to the automotive industry, likely referencing the coronavirus pandemic, have added urgency to finishing the paperwork. According to Bloomberg, the deal is expected to receive European antitrust approval by the end of the year. However, on January 4, both companies will hold meetings to obtain shareholder approval, even if approval falls to a later date.
The merger will create the fourth-largest company in the world, called Stellantis, and it’ll bring together 13 automotive brands under one umbrella. However, it may not be 13 brands for long. Rumors are circulating that both brands and models could be on the chopping block as the two automakers look to reduce costs. That means struggling brands like Chrysler and Lancia could disappear. Another issue that could cause both to rejigger their lineups is China, where both have recently struggled.
PSA Group is listed as the acquiring company in the deal, giving the company six of 11 seats on the Stellantis Board. PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares will also lead the new company. Questions about FCA CEO Mike Manley’s role in the new automaker led to rumors he could be tapped to lead Ferrari after its CEO unexpectedly stepped down. However, Automotive News reported today that Manley would lead the Stellantis’ North and South American operations and he will not have a seat on the board.