FCA to Build Future Small Cars on PSA’s Platform
The next-generation small cars Fiat Chrysler Automobiles makes will ride on a chassis developed by future merger partner PSA Group.
FCA will adopt PSA’s CMP (common modular platform) for its B-segment models, Automotive News Europe reports, citing a letter from the company to its suppliers. The letter advises vendors to halt all product development and tooling work related to the company’s current lineup of small cars.
PSA’s “CMP” chassis for small cars (Image: PSA)
ANE notes that FCA told suppliers in March to stop further work on five small models for its Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Lancia brands. The company blamed the suspension on disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scale and Flexibility
Sharing highly adaptable platforms should cut development costs and boost production economies of scale. In December, the two carmakers predicted that two PSA-developed platforms—CMP and EMP2—eventually will carry two-thirds (roughly 5.6 million) of the small cars they make.
The CMP chassis currently carries PSA’s DS3 and Opel Mokka crossovers and Peugeot 208 supermini and 2008 mini-crossover. The platform can accommodate piston- and electric-based powertrains.
FCA and PSA hope to complete their merger early next year, creating a new company called Stellantis. Until then, they must continue to behave as though they are competitors. To get around that hurdle, the two companies created an independent venture to pursue platform-sharing projects.
Big Volumes Ahead
FCA CEO Mike Manley told analysts last autumn that his company intends to give up its position as Europe’s top seller in the minicar market and focus on more popular and profitable small cars. The shift is likely to occur by 2024, ANE says.
In charting the expected benefits of a merger, the companies said in December that the CMP chassis could be used by as many as 2.6 million vehicles by 2025.
Last year, PSA made about 161,000 cars that used the platform. FCA’s letter to suppliers says its factory in Tychy, Poland, will be retooled to make as many as 400,000 CMP-based small cars per year. The Tychy plant current makes Fiat 500 minicars and Lancia Ypsilon superminis.
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