Fiat Chrysler, PSA Group Merge to Create New Auto Maker, Called Stellantis

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Peugeot-maker PSA Group cemented their trans-Atlantic merger Saturday, creating Stellantis NV, a global auto-making giant that executives say will have the heft needed to compete in a fast-changing industry.

The deal, first agreed to in late 2019 and approved earlier this month by shareholders, comes as the global car business is rapidly shifting to new technologies, such as electric vehicles, and battling upstarts trying to upend everything from the way cars are engineered and built to how they are sold.

Stellantis, derived from Latin term meaning “to brighten with stars,” ranks as the world’s third-largest auto maker by sales, according to 2019 figures, the latest available. At Friday’s close, it was worth more than $51 billion. The newly formed car company plans to start trading under the ticker symbol STLA on the Paris and Milan stock exchanges Monday and in New York on Tuesday.

The new company will have annual sales of about 8.1 million vehicles, according to Reuters.

Stellantis’ now-larger size will help it take on larger competitors Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY) and Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM).

It will be led by CEO Carlos Tavares, described by Bloomberg as “an ultra-competitive amateur rally driver who calls himself a ‘performance psychopath’ [with] a Darwinian view on the industry, arguing that only the strong carmakers will survive the pivot to electric drivetrains and pursuit of autonomous driving.”

The new company has strengths in North America through the Ram and Jeep brands, and in Europe through the Peugeot and Citroen brands. But it has not done well in the world’s biggest auto market — China. And like all traditional automakers it faces technological upheavals of the industry in the forms of electrification and autonomous driving.

Investors are waiting to hear more details on the company’s plans. Tavares and Stellantis Chairman John Elkann are scheduled to hold a virtual press conference on Tuesday at 9:40 a.m., right after they ring the bell at the NYSE.