Subcompact Fiat Chrysler will switch to PSA architectureAugust 28, 2020
Future Fiat subcompacts will use the same platform as the Peugeot 208 pictured.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has told its suppliers that its new generation of small cars will use a platform from the PSA Group. The two companies are in talks to merge into a new automotive group to be known as Stellantis. Completion of the merger is expected in the first quarter of next year.
In a letter sent at the end of July, FCA asked its suppliers to immediately cease any research, development and construction of tools for future B-segment vehicles (small / subcompact). In March, the FCA already ordered suppliers to temporarily suspend development of five small vehicles for the brands Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Jeep due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FCA has updated its subcompact platform to be used in a new family of small, battery-powered gasoline and diesel vehicles.
The new FCA small cars will migrate to the PSA architecture with a common modular platform (CMP). The platform underpins the Peugeot 208 and 2008, the Opel / Vauxhall Corsa and the new Mokka, as well as the DS3 Crossback. All of these models have an internal combustion engine as well as all-electric options.
In its address to suppliers, FCA announced that it will produce small cars based on CMP at its plant in Tychy, Poland. The plant is currently producing the Fiat 500 and Lancia Ypsilon. According to Italian press reports, FCA will produce in Tychy up to 400,000 units of CMP-based models per year.
FCA and PSA must continue to compete until the merger is complete to avoid any potential antitrust issues. To avoid legal problems, FCA advised its suppliers that it had established an autonomous partnership with PSA to develop, manufacture and assemble vehicles based on the PSA CMP platform.
FCA’s decision to use the CMP PSA architecture is consistent with its decision to phase out mini-car sales and focus on small cars.
FCA said in October that it plans to exit the European mini-car segment, where it is the leader, and join other automakers due to increased development costs in order to meet tighter emission limits.
FCA traditionally dominates mini car sales in Europe with the Fiat 500 and Panda. Fiat sold 183,322 Panda units and 175,566 out of 500 units last year, far ahead of the Toyota Aygo with 97,944 units. According to JATO Dynamics, the Panda and the 500 together accounted for a third of minicar sales in Europe.
“In the very near future, you will see us re-targeting this segment with higher volumes and higher margins, and this will be associated with a move away from the mini-car segment,” Mike Manley told FCA analysts about FCA’s third earnings report. quarter in October.
According to Manley, Fiat plans to attract customers in the small car segment, which came out in 2018 when production of the Punto hatchback was discontinued. The Punto has long been Fiat’s best-selling car in Europe, but former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said its sales aren’t big enough to cost-effectively build a successor.
Manley did not give a timeline for the transition from the minicar segment, but industry insiders say it will be a mid-term plan that is being implemented by 2024.
Moving to the PSA platform for a new generation of small cars will give FCA higher savings by reducing development costs. FCA plans to produce at its Mirafiori plant in Turin only the New 500 hatchback and its convertible on a revised small car platform with an annual capacity of 80,000 units.
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