MILAN, Italy – Automakers Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Peugeot Citroen (PSA) remain committed to a merger by early 2021 despits the sector’s COVID-19-related woes, FCA stated on Tuesday, May 5.
“Notwithstanding these unexpected and unprecedented times, FCA and Groupe PSA remain committed to our 50/50 merger that will create a leading global mobility company,” FCA said in a statement.
“Together, we continue to push ahead on the various merger workstreams and we remain committed to completing the transaction by the end of this year or early 2021.”
FCA also announced a 1st quarter net loss of 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) as it negotiates the virus storm.
The coronavirus and the mass global lockdown designed to limit its spread has caused massive global disruptions to industry and had cast doubt over a merger which would create the world’s 4th largest automaker.
The huge falloff in economic activity saw the European Automobile Manufacturers Association reveal last month that April sales on the continent fell by 55%.
All carmakers suffered, but FCA recorded the worst drop, 76.6%, as it is heavily dependent upon Fiat’s home market of Italy, which was the first major European economy to go into lockdown.
FCA and PSA say the merger would permit around 3.7 billion euros in savings.
FCA chief executive officer Mike Manley said the virus had exposed the company and the sector to “unprecedented adversity” which had had “a significant impact on our operations.”
But he added, “I have the utmost confidence in our ability to navigate through this crisis and emerge well positioned to grow and prosper on the other side.” – Rappler.com