Merger News

These 13 brands are caught up in the FCA-PSA Group merger

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group are merging their extensive brand portfolios.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Earlier today, a joint statement from FCA and the PSA Group announced that both boards had approved a merger. Currently, the two companies have 12 automobile brands between them. FCA brings Fiat, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati vehicle brands and the Mopar accessories brand to the table. PSA Group owns Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall.

Here is what you need to know about each brand.

Peugeot

2019 Peugeot 208

Photo courtesy of PSA Group

Peugeot was founded not as an automobile company, but as a family business specializing in coffee and bicycles during the reign of Napoleon in 1810. The company announced in 2019 that they would be returning to the U.S. by 2023. Currently Peugeot sells the 108, 208, 301, 308, 408, and 508 cars. SUV varieties they offer including the 2008, 3008, and 5008. Partner, Expert, and Boxer vans are also part of the company's portfolio.

Jeep

2020 Jeep Wrangler Freedom

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Jeep is perhaps the most widely known family member of the FCA lineup. Its signature model, the Wrangler, first started as a test project for the U.S. Army. From there, the vehicle continued to evolve and be proofed on battlefields and farm land near and far. Nowadays, it's more likely to see a Jeep model on the road or driving down a trail. For the 2020 model year, Jeep sells the Gladiator, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass in the U.S.

Fiat

2020 Fiat 500x Trekking

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Fiat is an Italian brand that was founded 120 years ago in Turin, Italy. It is currently the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy. The company has struggled to sell cars in the U.S. but has a good presence in Europe. Under the Fiat brand, the 500x, 500L, and 124 Spider are sold in the U.S. for the 2020 model year.

Dodge

2020 Dodge Challenger T/A

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Dodge is nearly as old as Fiat. It was founded 119 years ago as the Dodge Brothers Company. It was sold to Dillon, Read & Co. in 1925 and Chrysler in 1928. In recent years, the company has been turned into the performance brand for FCA. For the 2020 model year, the company sells the Journey, Challenger, Charger, and Durango, and Grand Caravan in the U.S.

Citroën

Citr\u00ebon

Photo courtesy of PSA Group

Citroën has been around for 100 years and part of what is now known as the PSA Group since 1976. The company sells cars in many countries under their own badge and in partnership with other automakers. Current autos in the Citroën lineup include the C1, C3, C-Zero (a rebadged Mitsubishi I-MiEV), C3 Aircross, C-Elysee, C4, C4 Aircross, C5, C5 Aircross, Nemo, Berlingo, Jumpy, and Jumper.

Mopar

2019 SEMA Show Mopar Ram Truck

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Mopar is FCA's parts, service, and customer car organization. It also customizes and builds vehicles including show cars for various auto shows in conjunction with the automaker's other brands. Mopar has been a brand for much longer than many people realize. It was first introduced as its own brand in 1937.

Ram

2020 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Ram Trucks was founded in 2010. Named after the most popular Dodge truck model, Ram is the brand under which all current FCA trucks sold in North America are produced. For the 2020 model year, Ram is selling the 1500, 2500, 3500 and chassis cab trucks. It also sells the Ram Promaster and Ram Promaster City vans.

Opel

Opel Corsa-e

Photo courtesy of PSA Group

From 1929 to 2017, Opel was owned by General Motors. It was added to the PSA Group portfolio in 2017 when GM looked to unload much of its European portfolio. Current plans call for eight electrified models by 2021 and the company is moving to electrify its entire lineup by 2024. Opel and Vauxhall, another PSA Group brand, are sold in 60 countries worldwide.

Chrysler

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The original Chrysler Corporation was founded in 1925 from the remnants of the failed Maxwell Motor Company. It's been a member of a number of conglomerates throughout its history but is perhaps best known in recent history for its Chrysler 300 sedan and Chrysler Pacifica minivan. For the 2020 model year, those two Chryslers and the Voyager, a low-end version of the Pacifica, will be sold in the U.S.

Maserati

Master Maserati Driving Courses 2019 GT garage

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Maserati is the most premium brand in the automaker's current lineup. The historic mark (it started in 1914) currently sells the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, GranTurismo and GranCabrio coupes, and Levante SUV in North America. The Maserati Alfieri, a 2+2 grand tourer with a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain, is scheduled to be produced as a 2021 model.

DS

D3 Crossback

Photo courtesy of PSA Group

DS is PSA Group's premium car brand. In the past, DS and Citrëon have been deeply linked, but PSA Group has been working recently to differentiate them. Its current models include the DS 3, DS 3 Crossback, DS 4, DS 4S, DS 5, DS 5LS, DS 6, and DS 7 Crossback.

Alfa Romeo

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Alfa Romeo has a rich history. Since shortly after its beginning in 1910, the company has been associated with racing and fast engines. The newest products from the brand, the U.S.-sold Giulia and Stelvio, a sports sedan and performance-focused SUV.

Vauxhall

Vauxhall Viva

Photo courtesy of PSA Group

Vauxhall Motors is a British-based car brand that is owned by PSA Group. Its passenger and light commercial vehicle lineup is identical to Opel's, but the Vauxhall name is used for UK models. The mark was acquired by PSA in 2017 following the purchase of it from General Motors. Vauxhall sells cars named Adam, Astra, Corsa, Viva, and Insignia. Its Grandland X, Crossland X, and Mokka X models are SUVs.

At this time, no details regarding the addition or elimination of any FCA or PSA Group brands has been announced.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve model features aeronautical accents and pays tribute to the Air Force.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The third installment of the 2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve models will go into production next month at the company's Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan. Each of the Built to Serve variants of the truck pays tribute to a brach of the U.S. armed forces.

Ram's newest edition is crafted with an aeronautical theme in honor of the U.S. Air Force. It is available with either an Anvil or Billet Silver exterior color and with a black interior with Light Diesel Gray accent stitching.

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve: Air Force

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram continues to honor all of those who serve or have served in the United States armed forces with distinction through our latest 'Built to Serve' offering," said Mike Koval Jr., Head of Ram Brand, FCA – North America. "The 'Built to Serve' adage is something Ram truck owners, whether civilian or military, are very familiar with as it's something we strive to build into every truck and van we produce."

The Ram Built to Serve Edition trucks are built on the Ram 1500 Big Horn trim level.

Each model features a U.S. flag and Bulit to Serve decal on each of the rear quarter panels, 20-inch aluminum wheels with unique Technical Gray finish, body-colored wheel flares, all-black grille and surround, black bumpers, black-bezel premium lighting, black badges, black wheel-to-wheel side steps, and dual four-inch black exhaust tips.

There are Built to Serve Velcro panels on each front seat and on the rear shoulder panel where owners can apply their own patches to personalize their truck. Front seat-back panels are covered with PALS/MOLLE webbing that can be used to attach additional equipment or pouches.

Each model also comes loaded with Ram's 4x4 Off-Road Group content, including:

  • All-terrain tires
  • Electronic-locking rear axle
  • Hill-descent control
  • Front suspension skid plate
  • Steering gear skid plate
  • Fuel tank skid plate
  • Transfer case skid plate
  • Tow hooks
  • Heavy-duty off-road-calibrated front and rear shock absorbers

By appealing to past and present military members with the marketing of this truck, Ram is tapping into a significant population. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs calculates that approximately seven percent of the U.S. population is an active or reserve member, or veteran of the armed services.

Ram is selling the special edition as a $2,795 option.

The trucks wlll be available at dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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The 2020 Ram 1500 is formidable but with the EcoDiesel power plant, it begins to stumble.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

With its easy steering and luxe interior, the 2020 Ram 1500 Limited has earned every right to be considered a luxury truck. It defies typical convention in other ways too, as it soaks up the bumps in the road like a full-size sedan and offers rear seat legroom akin to 27A on a Delta-operated Airbus 321.

But can it "truck"? I'm so glad you asked. While the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado are typically thought of as America's work truck, when the redesigned Ram 1500 debuted as a 2019 model, its appointments (rightly) earned it a coveted place in the lifestyle truck category.

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the newest engine option for the full-size truck.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The answer is yes, it can "truck". Though you're more likely to see the 1500 Limited at a Home Depot for weekend warrior type of projects than at a worksite, it's obvious to anyone that test drives it that the Ram is more than capable, especially with the nifty multifunction tailgate, which splits 60/40 and opens outward rather while also allowing a traditional tailgate drop to permit easier access to the bed.

However, how much capability you require and the drive experience you want will dictate the engine you choose - just as it does in a truck from any other automaker.

The latest test version of the 1500 Limited to roll into my driveway was powered by a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. The engine makes the truck capable of achieving 480 pound-feet of torque and has a max towing capacity of 12,560 pounds. Both those numbers best then capabilities of the F-150 and Silverado with their own 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesels under the hood.

Is the Ram engine the best? The short answer to that is no.

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Under the hood of the model, as tested, is a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The EcoDiesel is about as fuel efficient as the other two engines but it suffers off the line compared to the Chevrolet inline-six. Though it has more torque, even without a full load in the bed, the Ram feels slower from a standstill than the Chevy. It frustratingly gets up to 45 mph then cruises competently from there on. The delay is enough to make you have to plan ahead when pulling out in traffic.

That postponed response of the accelerator replicates turbo lag. Why? It's likely because Rom needs to ensure the engine hits mpg targets. The company is especially cognizant of that in the wake of the $307.5 million settlement Ram's parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), paid to compensate for installing emissions cheating software in diesel engined vehicles.

Aside from the engine, the Ram 1500 Limited is a mighty fine truck. It's attractive inside and out with supple leather on the seats and soft-touch materials where it matters. The seats remain comfortable, even when on long drives.

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel The interior of the Ram 1500 Limited is sumptuous.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

As much as the 12.3-inch vertically orientated infotainment screen is appealing at first sight, the more it gets used, the more frustrating it becomes. There's no quick way to access the camera for parking or navigating a drive thru, and scrolling through radio stations is a chore, but perhaps the biggest annoyance is adjusting the climate controls. One errant tap too many and suddenly the heating or air conditioning is on full blast. Readjusting the correct temperature can be a quick fix, but it takes longer for the mechanics to adjust. In the meantime, you're uncomfortable for more time than is ideal.

If you're in the market for a full-size truck with a diesel engine, and interior isn't as important, the Chevrolet Silverado is your best bet. If you don't absolutely require a diesel engine and prefer a nicer interior for daily driver duties, the Ram 1500 is the way to go. However, the forthcoming 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid may shake up this recommendation.

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