Fiat Chrysler, meanwhile, has seen its earnings drop, posted Thursday a third-quarter loss due to a weaker performance in Europe. The merger will take place under a Dutch parent company with a balanced governance structure across the two shareholder groups, including a majority of independent board members. On the other hand, Groupe PSA employs 210,000 people and owns brands like Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall.
The Italian-American auto company on Thursday reported a loss of 179 million euros (nearly $200 million) due to weaker performance in Europe and by its luxury Maserati division.
The FCA-PSA merger will likely help in this regard with platform-sharing (with multiple products across brands using the same underpinnings), as well as with investments to be made in electrification, autonomous vehicles and connected technologies.
The rumours were true - Groupe PSA and FCA have agreed to work on a 50:50 merger that will effectively lead to the creation of the fourth-largest automaker in the world, with 8.7 million cars sold annually.
It was less than five months ago that FCA abandoned merger talks with PSA's French rival Renault, and the move comes as carmakers grapple with a downturn in their markets as well as hefty investments in electric and self-driving vehicles.
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Given that it is a 50/50 merger, Cassidy hopes it will open Fiat Chrysler to new markets. However, the U.S. automaker pulled out of the deal following pushback from the French government (a major Renault shareholder) and the automaker's alliance partner Nissan.
Echoing this sentiment, Mr Manley said: "I'm delighted by the opportunity to work with Carlos and his team on this potentially industry-changing combination".
A merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, the No. 2 for auto sales in Europe, would create a regional powerhouse to rival Volkswagen AG, with a stock market value of about $49 billion - comparable to Honda Motor Co.
Ahead of a meeting in 2018 with British unions to discuss job cuts at a Vauxhall plant inherited from Opel, Tavares told reporters in Detroit that United Kingdom production costs were twice those of Peugeot plants in France.
FCA is weaker in Europe than PSA, with its French and German mass market brands.
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Italian industry minister Stefano Patuanell said the deal was good news provided it didn't affect jobs in Italy.
In the wake of the announcement, FCA shares in Milan increased to over 9% higher in morning trading.
Current PSA CEO Carlos Tavares has been picked to serve as CEO of the merged company, and current FCA chairman John Elkann as its chairman.
The French PSA and the Italian-American Fiat-Chrysler each receive half of the shares in the merged company that has its head office in the Netherlands.
"The French government is a part-shareholder of Peugeot so it will also be keen to maintain jobs and capacity in France".
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