There's growing speculation that France's PSA Group is, at the very least, open to the idea of a merger or acquisition of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The heads of both automakers reportedly told journalists separately at this month's Geneva International Motor Show that the possibility of an alliance with another automaker was possible, a goal often touted by late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in order to meet emissions targets as well as develop costly electric and self-driving technologies.
Now Robert Peugeot, a member of the Peugeot family that owns close to 14 percent of PSA Group, an equal size to stakes owned by the French government and Chinese automaker Dongfeng, has revealed that his family is also open to an alliance.
"We supported the [Opel acquisition] from the start,” he told Les Echo in an interview held Monday. “If another opportunity comes up, we will not be braking, [PSA Group CEO Carlos Taveres] knows that."
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When quizzed about an alliance with FCA, he replied, “With them, as with others, the planets could be aligned.”
Another potential partner is thought to be Jaguar Land Rover.
Via a merger with FCA, PSA Group would gain exposure to the North American market, while in return FCA would be able to meet emissions targets set for Europe early next decade thanks to PSA Group's lineup of small cars and soon-to-be launched electrified models. PSA Group also confirmed in February that its Peugeot brand will return to the United States around 2026.
Any deal with FCA would largely finish what Marchionne started offering in 2014, when he openly explored the idea of a merger with General Motors. Since then, rumors about a merger with the Volkswagen Group, Hyundai and Chinese automaker Great Wall have come and gone, though the comments from senior people at PSA Group provide some additional credibility to the latest rumors. Stay tuned.