At a stakeholder meeting, 99 percent of the votes cast by investors with double voting rights to withstand the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA, the French maker of Peugeot, Citroën, and Opel cars to overcome the slipping industry by technological change and uncertainty by the pandemic. Shareholders of both companies overwhelmingly approved the merger on Monday, the automakers said.
“We are fully aware of the fact that together we will be stronger than individually,” PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said during the meeting. “The two companies are in good health. These two companies have strong positions in their markets.”
“We are living through a profound era of change in our industry,” John Elkann, the chairman of Fiat Chrysler, told shareholders by video, drawing comparisons to Fiat’s founding at the dawn of the automobile age. “We believe the coming decade will redefine mobility as we know it.”
The new company formed is to be called Stellantis employing 400,000 people and include the Jeep, Ram Trucks, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati brands. Stellantis will be the world’s fourth-largest automaker by volume, with a portfolio of over a dozen brands and joint ventures. Tavares is set to become CEO of the new company while Fiat Chrysler John Elkann will serve as chairman. Current Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley will run the conglomerate’s North American operations.
Both the parties have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. PSA’s vehicle sales were dropped to 30 percent in the 11 months through November, while Fiat Chrysler sold 30 percent fewer cars and trucks in the nine months through September, the most recent reporting period.