File picture: Regis Duvignau / Reuters.

PARIS - When Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Peugeot owner PSA merge, it will become the world’s fourth-biggest car company, with an annual volume of 8.7 million vehicles split between 14 brands.

But with so many vehicle brands in its portfolio, there have been fears that the merged company might choose to discontinue some of the less popular nameplates, particularly in the Fiat Chrysler stable, but now PSA boss Carlos Tavares, who will also head the new company, has confirmed that there are no plans to pull the plug on any brands.

This was reported by Automotive News Europe, quoting an interview with BFM Business in which Tavaris praised the history of these brands and emphasised the need to properly manage them in order to cover the market effectively. 

"We love the history of car brands, it gives us a foundation on which we can project ourselves into the future. So today, I don't see any need, if this deal is concluded, to remove brands because they all have their history and they all have their strengths," Tavaris said.

Brands owned by FCA include Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati and Abarth, while PSA owns Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall.

The two companies plan to join forces in a 50-50 share merger, aiming to save 3.7 billion euros (R60bn) without closing any plants.

The companies announced on November 1 that they aimed to reach a binding deal in the coming weeks.

The merger could give FCA access to PSA's more modern vehicle platforms, helping it to meet tough new emissions rules, while Europe-focused PSA would benefit from FCA's profitable US business featuring brands such as Ram and Jeep.

FCA would also get access to the French group's CMP modular platform, which was launched in 2019 for Peugeot's e-208 compact city car, and donated for Opel to build the Corsa-e mini.

The CMP platform was jointly developed by Dongfeng and PSA.

PSA has moved Opel and Vauxhall from nine GM platforms to just two, helping Opel to return to profit after more than a decade of losses.

IOL & Reuters