Merger

Fiat Chrysler-Group PSA merger creates new company name - Stellantis

The merger between Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2021.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

A tweet has revealed the new name of one of the biggest automakers in the world. When Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA merge, they will all be under the Stellantis company name. The name has its roots in Latin where "Stello" means "to brighten with stars".

The name carries no connection to either company, nor does it have any ties to the deep, rich history both brands have related to the companies that gave their first letters to the Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA names.

Fiat is a name that is synonymous with Italian cars. The company was born in Turin in 1899. It's name is an acronym for the Italian "Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino", which translates to "Italian Automobiles Factory, Turin". For decades Fiat was the largest automaker in Europe. Today, it remains the largest carmaker in Italy. In 1910, the company built its first plant in the U.S.

2020 Fiat 500 New all-electric Fiat 500 was revealed earlier this year but it might not come to the U.S. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLCPhoto courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

In 2014, Fiat merged with Chrysler forming Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, a company based in the Netherlands.

Chrysler got its start in 1925, taking its company name from founder Walter Chrysler - something commonplace for the time that followed in the steps of Henry Ford, the Dodge brothers, and Charles Nash. The company has spent most of its life as one of the "Big Three" along with Ford and General Motors. In 1998 it was bought by Daimler-Benz, but the company divested itself of Chrysler in 2007 where it was called variations of Chrysler LLC until the Fiat merger.

Chrysler 300 A vintage Chrysler 300 - the nameplate has been around for over 40 years. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLCPhoto courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

Peugeot's corporate history starts in 1896 in Sochaux, France when it began making coffee mills and bicycles, which eventually lead to the steam-powered tricycle then, eventually, the internal combustion engine car. In the 1970s, Peugeot took over Citroën and Chrysler Europe. In 2012 GM purchased a seven percent share of Peugeot Citroën (as it was then known) but by 2013 it had sold the stake at a loss.

Groupe PSA has a number of divisions, including those that sell motorcycles and bicycles. You can see a list of the auto brand affected as part of the merger here.

Charles Rolls Peugeot English motor car manufacturer Charles Stewart Rolls (1877 - 1910) in his first motor car, a 3.75 hp Peugeot motor car imported from France, with a man walking in front with a red flag as the law of the time required. Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

You won't see any Stellantis branded cars on the streets anytime soon. The Stellantis name will be used exclusively at the group level, as a corporate brand, according to a release. Next up, the company plans to reveal its new logo, though they haven't made public the timetable for the announcement. No brand logos will change as part of the merger.

The Fiat Chrysler-Groupe PSA merger is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2021.

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The Grand Cherokee is now available with three rows.

Stellantis

The Grand Cherokee has always been the Jeep that could haul the family to the mall as easily as it could traverse serious off-road terrain. The design was starting to age, however, after ten years on the market without a major redesign. Jeep fixed that for the 2022 model year, and after a week behind the wheel, there are three things we think you should know about the new SUV.

It Comes in Two Formats

The three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuted in 2021 as the first Grand Cherokee with more than two rows of seating. The standard Grand Cherokee followed it with many of the same features and upscale finishes, but in a more familiar two-row SUV format. The move to a two-body-style lineup for the Grand Cherokee does not mean there's less choice. The standard two-row model is offered in a staggering number of configurations, including a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The new Grand Cherokee ups the luxury considerably. Stellantis

It's Luxurious

Top Grand Cherokee trims have long been plusher and more luxurious than most people expect from a Jeep, and the new model takes things further down that road. Top trims feature luxurious materials such as quilted leathers and real wood trim, along with desirable and innovative electronics features. An optional passenger-side touchscreen offers climate controls and other functions to front-seat passengers, and Stellantis' UConnect infotainment software is among the easiest to use and most intuitive interfaces in the auto business.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Grand Cherokee can take its passengers far off the beaten path.Stellantis

It's Available with Three Strong Powertrains

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available, and Jeep's excellent 4xe plug-in hybrid can be added to certain trims. The Wrangler was the first vehicle to use the system, which provides instant torque and excellent all-electric driving range. When the battery is depleted below a certain level, the vehicle then switches to operate as a normal hybrid.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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