Will the FCA/PSA merger result in new Chrysler products?
By now, FCA and PSA are likely working out the logistics of their merger, including which assembly plants will produce what, which ones, if any, will be shut down, and what platform sharing opportunities exist between brands. Although it’s a mostly unknown name in the US, Peugeot already has cars on our shores through its Free2Move car sharing platform. Many people considered this to be PSA dipping its toes in the water to see how the US market responded to their vehicles ahead of a possible re-entry into the US market in the future. Through FCA, PSA now has a perfect way to slide into the US market while also providing the Chrysler brand with a few new products.
DS, PSA’s premium brand, looks like a prime candidate to supply Chrysler with some vehicles. In fact, the DS vehicles have a bold look not unlike that of the Chrysler 300. The DS 7 Crossback is a premium compact crossover that is around 5″ longer than the Jeep Compass while measuring around 3″ wider. Despite its tidy dimensions, it exudes a premium aura that could bring some much-needed class to the Chrysler brand. The DS 7 Crossback also has a very upscale interior, rivaling luxury crossovers like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Because the DS 7 Crossback is targeting luxury crossovers, this means that in order to market DS vehicles as Chryslers in the US, Chrysler would likely have to be established as a premium brand. Many people already consider Chrysler to be a semi-premium brand, so this is not really an unreasonable idea, but they’d have to place an emphasis on quality to be successful. PSA appears to produce reliable vehicles, so perhaps this is a better catalyst for a renewed focus on premium Chrysler vehicles than Fiat was. In any case, the DS 7 would compete against the Stelvio, though being sold at CDJR dealerships would allow it greater market penetration, essentially allowing Alfa to revel in their niche status and produce uncompromisingly sporty vehicles without having to “sell their soul” to compete against higher volume luxury brands.
Time will tell what FCA and PSA are planning and if there are any plans for selling PSA products under US brands like Chrysler and Dodge. Chrysler, in particular, is in need of a few new vehicles, so hopefully that will be a priority for the company.