A Fiat based on a little electric Peugeot makes for an interesting proposition
With its electric vehicle push only just beginning to take shape, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be looking to other automakers to help it catch up as tougher emissions regulations start to take hold.
FCA CEO Mike Manley said Friday in an investors call he would, "'absolutely' consider using PSA’s electric-vehicle architecture as the automaker works to meet tougher emissions rules" in Europe, according to Bloomberg. That would be part of deeper collaboration with the French automaker that controls Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands. It also puts the Italian-American auto conglomerate in the spotlight for more partnerships or a full-on merger with other automakers as it tries to be less dependent on U.S. truck and SUV profits.
At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March, FCA showed a wide range of plug-ins, from the Jeep Compass and Renegade PHEVs, to the Fiat Concept Centoventi that has more than a few stylistic roots in Fiat's iconic small car designs and echoes an electric future for that brand best known for the Cinquecento. Alfa Romeo and Maserati have already been earmarked for plug-ins in the next few years, while the U.S. market still gets the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid and the low-volume Fiat 500e.
But even with all of this, FCA in April said it would pool emissions credits from Tesla to satisfy its group CO2 average within the European Union. It's done the same thing in the U.S. for years, since the bulk of its business comes from large Jeeps and Ram pickups.
And then there's the issue that even the Jeep and Ram business isn't propping up losses in Europe and Asia, as well as Maserati as a whole. The fact FCA has to shell out another $2 billion-plus just to be compliant with various emissions regulations globally over the next several years is adding to their burden and fueling rumors of more tie-ups with PSA and even Jaguar Land Rover. FCA's next couple of years will certainly be interesting to watch.
But they could do worse than a small electric city car than basing it off of the Peugeot e-208.