Merger News

PSA, FCA agree to $47 billion merger, create 4th largest automaker

Chairman of the Managing Board of Groupe PSA Carlos Tavares (left) and FCA CEO Mike Manley (right) share a congratulatory handshake after signing the historic combination agreement

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

On Halloween, news broke that PSA and FCA had agreed in principle to merge. Now the merger is official with both parties having signed a binding merger agreement in a deal worth approximately $47 billion.

The merger creates the fourth largest global original equipment manufacturer by volume and the third largest by revenue. Using 2018 tallies, the two companies accounted for a combined 8.7 million vehicle sales.

This deal allows flexibility of production and future technologies development that both parties were seeking. PSA had previously made it known that it was looking to expand into the Americas, an area where FCA excels in production and sales. FCA has widely been reported as falling behind other automakers in its development and implementation of battery, autonomous, and safety technology.

Click here to see the brands caught up in the merger.

A news release issued by the companies indicated that there are no plans to close any factories and that the company expects to be cash flow positive from the get-go.

The release also touted the company's plans to deliver "higher customer satisfaction." The 2018 American Customer Satisfaction Index, which surveys car owners on their overall service and product experience with specific auto brands, found that Ram was FCA's most satisfying brand for customers, with a 14th place ranking. Jeep came in at 18th, and Fiat at 25th, while Dodge and Chrysler were at the bottom placing 27th and 28th, respectively.

The new company's board will consist of 11 members. PSA's Carlos Tavares will be the company's CEO and a member of the board while FCA's John Elkann will be chairman of the board. No announcement has been made as to the role of Mike Manley, who has been leading FCA following CEO Sergio Marchionne's sudden death in July 2018, though FCA confirms that Manley will still have a role in the company.

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Barrett-Jackson traditionally sells hundreds of vehicles per auction.

Photo by Getty Images

Automotive auction house Barrett-Jackson is set to host its first Houston Auction on September 16-18, 2021. The auction house will set up temporary quarters at the NRG Center when it rolls into town for the three-day event.

The Barrett-Jackson Houston Auction will be the first collector car auction the company has ever held in the Lone Star State. It's set to feature a broad range of vehicles including vintage and custom cars, supercars, and late-model vehicles. There will also be authentic automobile up for bid.

"We're incredibly excited to head out to Houston this fall for our first collector car auction in Texas, said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. "Enthusiasts across the region, especially Texans, have a deep passion for collector cars. Only a few years ago, my search for the lost 1967 Ford Shelby EXP 500 prototype dubbed 'Little Red' led me to North Texas, where I found the fabled Mustang. There's an unmistakable car culture in Texas, and we're looking forward to fueling that passion with our inaugural Houston Auction in September."

Like the Mecum Auctions event in April, Barrett-Jackson will have an audience for their auction. Tickets to the event are available online only. Through September 15, tickets are $80 per adult; $60 for students, senior citizens, and military personnel; and $35 for children. On event days, tickets can be had at the rate of $90 for adults; $70 for students/seniors/military; and $45 for children.

Some VIP ticket packages are available. Pricing for those packages is not currently available though interested members of the public may currently visit the Barrett-Jackson home page and made a deposit on their VIP experience.

Registering as a bidder is also available online. On-site bidder amenities include one bidder badge (adult admission for each day of the auction), guest credential (adult admission for each day of the auction), a preferred parking pass (if available), access to bidder seating and the Bidder Bar, Barrett-Jackson event catalog. Tier 1 bidders also receive a bidder badge with drink tokens and one guest credential with drink tokens.e

"They say everything's bigger in Texas, and that's exactly what you can expect from our inaugural Houston Auction," said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. "With the sprawling NRG Park as our backdrop, our docket will be as wide and diverse as the state itself. From the custom off-road trucks and SUVs that have made Texas the Truck Capitol of the World to modern supercars that race their way around Circuit of the Americas, we'll have a car for every type of collector."

Owners wishing to consign a vehicle for sale still have the opportunity to do so. To start that journey, visit www.Barrett-Jackson.com.

Information regarding the event's traditional opening night gala has not yet been released. Barrett-Jackson recently cancelled their Scottsdale gala out of concern regarding the spread of COVID-19.

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The Subaru Outback is getting an off-road ready relative.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

As Jakob Dylan sang, "something good this way comes." Subaru is set to unveil the next chapter in the story of its Outback station wagon on March 30.

When it was introduced in its new generation in 2019, Subaru openly talked about how the 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT was a trial-like step in the direction of ruggedness for the wagon. The 2021 edition comes with a roster of equipment not found anywhere else in the Outback lineup: 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a black finish, Crystal Black Silica-finish folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and StarTex water-repellent upholstery. There's also black-finish exterior elements and badging, an exclusive gray two-tone interior, power liftgate, front view monitor, Dual X-Mode, and a full-size spare tire.

Something Wild Is Coming www.youtube.com

The teased model is billed as a "new adventure-ready version" of the Subaru Outback, the popular adventure-mobile. From spy photos we already know that this new Outback is a bit of a brute compared to the traditional model. It might even have a lift.

The latest teaser photo released by the company (above) shows that it's designed to handle tougher terrain than just well-trodden trails. The new Outback's Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires are designed to be an all-terrain tire for all weather conditions. The manufacturer says that they are a "perfect blend of on- and off-road performance, capability, and comfort."

Subaru also teases the model by showing beefy rocker panels and unique wheels. There's also orange-colored badging.

The automaker teased further in a statement saying, "The legendary Outback is the most rugged, most capable vehicle in the Subaru lineup. But what if Subaru pushed things further? Or went higher?" A lift? In the words of Lloyd Christmas, "So you're saying there's a chance."

The Outback Wilderness, which is what some are calling it (some call it the Adventure), is expected to be the first in a series of similarly-branded off-road capable vehicles that Subaru will produce. The next up on the roster is said to be the Forester. Don't be surprised if Crosstrek and Ascent get in on the action as well.

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