Merger

Shareholders approve FCA-Groupe PSA merger; here's what's next

A new Stellantis company logo was revealed last year ahead of Groupe PSA-Fiat Chrysler merger.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The shareholders of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA) have approved a merger of the two companies to create Stellantis N.V. (Stellantis). More than 99 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the transaction.

As part of the merger vote, shareholders of FCA also approved the adoption of the Stellantis' Articles of Association and appointment of the previously announced members of the Board of Directors of Stellantis.

Jeep Compass 4xe (European model) The Jeep Compass 4xe is available in overseas markets where PSA Groupe already sells cars. Photo courtesy of FCA

The Board of Directors was announced in October 2020 and includes various members of 11 members. FCA and its reference shareholder Exor nominated five members and Groupe PSA and two of its reference shareholders (EPF/FFP and BPIfrance). nominated five members.

The non-executive directors include Andrea Agnelli (board member of Fiat and Exor), Fiona Clare Cicconi (Google's new head of people operations), Nicolas Dufourcq (general manager of BPIfrance), Ann Frances Godbehere (Non-Executive Independent Director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc), Wan Ling Martello (former Executive Vice President of Nestle, also sits on Uber's board of directors), Jacques de Saint-Exupéry (longtime union insider in France) and Kevin Scott (Microsoft's chief technology officer).

John Elkann will serve as Chairman and Robert Peugeot will be Vice Chairman. Current FCA CEO Mike Manley will not serve on the board. He will instead head up the company's efforts in the Americas.

All appointments are effective on the date of the merger's completion.

What's next for Stellantis

The final regulatory clearances for the company were completed over the course of the last month, including those from the European Commission and the European Central Bank. With those in hand, the merger is expected to be completed on January 16, 2021.

Stellantis' common shares will begin trading on the Euronext in Paris and on Mercato Telematico Azionario in Milan on Monday, January 18, 2021, and on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

There is no official word on when vehicles by Groupe PSA's brands will make their way to U.S. markets. It's more likely that ahead of any brand emergence, there will be Groupe PSA vehicle components that make their way into traditionally FCA products. This includes electrification technology, which FCA's U.S. brands have only just started tapping into.

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The Mercedes-Benz CLS has gotten a design refresh for the new model year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS will feature the fresh looks and tech that is making its way through the rest of the German automaker's lineup. The four-door car also gets updated interior appointments and the next-gen Mercedes steering wheel.

At its front, the new CLS features a fresh grille that includes a three-dimensional star pattern with chrome-gloss surfaces, a louver in high-gloss black with chrome inlay, and the integrated Mercedes star. It comes standard with the AMG Line appearance package, which includes an AMG-specific front bumper with A-wing in black, AMG sill trim on the side, a front splitter in silver chrome, sporty, distinctive air intakes with vertical bars and aerodynamically shaped flics in high-gloss black.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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Two new designs are available for the 19-inch light-alloy wheel: 5-twin-spoke or multi-spoke rims. Buyers can also get Two new 20-inch, high-gloss AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in a bi-color look in their choices of Tremolite Grey or High-Gloss Black. The CLS is now available in a new Starling Blue Metallic paint color along with the rest of its color palette.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4Match comes standard with a mild-hybrid powertrain. The 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine is united with a 48-volt electrical system to generate 369 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque under traditional driving conditions. An additional 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque are available as part of an on-demand boost.

The CLS will be offered with two new trim finishes: Open Pore Brown Walnut and High-Gloss Grey Wood. The range of leather seat upholstery has also been expanded with two new color combinations: Neva Grey/Magma Grey and Sienna Brown/Black.

The car's new multifunction steering wheel is wrapped Nappa leather and its spokes are finished in high-gloss black with silver chrome edging and paddle shifters.

Buyers can add on the Driver Assistance Package, which includes adaptive cruise control and active steering assist technologies.

For customers with the means to demand more customization, Mercedes-Benz Manufaktur is willing, ready, and able to transform the car into a bespoke creation, for a price.

The car is slated to arrive at dealerships in early 2022

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The new network will be established in partnership with Electrify America.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Not only is Jeep creating plug-in electric vehicles, they're working to create a branded network of charging stations at the places where Jeep enthusiasts push their PEHVS to the limits. Created in partnership with Electrify America, the Level 2 charging stations will be at installed Jeep Badge of Honor off-road trailheads around the United States over the next 12 months.

The first Jeep 4xe charging stations are scheduled to open this spring in Moab, Utah; the Rubicon Trail in Pollock Pines, California; and Big Bear, California. Each charging station will be either directly connected to the power grid or use solar power to generate electricity.

Jeep 4xe Charging Network The charging stations will either run on solar power or be connected to the grid.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep 4xe Charging Network

"Electrification opens a new chapter in the Jeep brand story, and it brings an entirely new level of excitement and enjoyment to our enthusiastic owners," said Christian Meunier, Jeep brand CEO — Stellantis. "Key to making Jeep brand the greenest SUV brand is assuring our owners can enjoy the benefits of electric propulsion wherever they go, including the most iconic off-road trails in the country."

These aren't the first solar-powered charging stations that Electrify America has installed. Earlier this year, the company, which is a division of the Volkswagen Group, installed similar stations in low income areas of Southern California previously unserviced by the technology.

Jeep drivers will be able to utilize the Electrify America app to initiate and pay for charging at stations that are part of the Jeep 4xe Charging Network.

With Level 2 charging, the 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack in the Jeep Wrangler 4xe can be fully recharged in about two hours, delivering 49 MPGe and 21 miles of electric range.

The chargers will provide Level 2 (240-volt) charging.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

"It is our goal to provide electric vehicle drivers with the freedom to get to where they want to go — whether it be on a highway or off-road — and we look forward to bringing Jeep enthusiasts along on the journey," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. "Through the customizable electric vehicle charging offerings of our Electrify Commercial B2B brand, we were able to work with Jeep to identify where their drivers will need charging access most, and make it a reality."

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