This week GM is back in the news with another customer recall, while Fiat Chrysler and PSA aim to future proof their success with a company merger. As always, we bring you the latest Auto News to keep you up to date with happenings in the industry.
Peugeot Looking to Innovative Sales Models
Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America, the parent company behind Peugeot, has said that the traditional dealership model has to change while discussing Peugeot’s launch in the USA. As Wards Auto reports, Dominique explained that PSA is banking on digital technologies to sell its cars in combination with more lightweight brick and mortar showrooms. Although PSA has not confirmed a US launch date, it seems they will be focused on having a lighter physical footprint than other brands in the country.
At the first J.D. Power’s Automotive Revolution conference in Las Vegas last week, Dominique said: “New technology is forever altering the way people buy things.” He continued, “Digital tools – while some may be disruptive – can be a key to profitability.” while emphasizing that human interaction will remain important in the car-buying process.
PSA is in the spotlight this week as plans were confirmed of a merger between the French company and automotive giant Fiat-Chrysler – more on that below.
Fiat Chrysler and PSA to Join Forces
Just a few months after Fiat Chrysler’s merger with Renault fell through, the carmaker announced a merger with Peugeot parent company PSA. As reported by the UK Guardian, the $45 billion merger will create the world’s 4th largest carmaker. The companies said that they expect the move to save $4 bn in costs without losing any jobs or closing factories. The new product range would include Jeep, Dodge, Citroën, Alfa Romeo, Ram and luxe brand Maserati as well as Fiat, Chrysler and Peugeot.
Carlos Tavares, the current CEO of PSA, will become the new CEO of the joint companies. The new company is set to be registered in the Netherlands – neutral territory for both companies – with major offices in France, Italy and the USA, and a continued presence on the stock market of these three companies.
Public Unwilling to Relinquish Driving Control
A new survey by SAE International (the Society of Automobile Engineers) has found that consumers would prefer to share control when using autonomous vehicles (AVs). As Auto News reports, despite the huge investment into self-driving cars by companies including Waymo, Uber, and more, 92% of survey respondents agreed that human operators need to be able to operate and emergency stop in an AV.
SAE said that while consumers are generally positive about the potential of self-driving cars, they also expect them to be safer than their human-operated counterparts.
GM Recalls 600,000 trucks and SUVs
In the latest blow for beleaguered carmaker General Motors, the company announced last week that it’s recalling over half a million GMC and Chevy pickup trucks and SUVs. As Cnet reports, the issue surrounds unintended braking, with a software error that could cause unexpected braking when switching to 4WD mode or traveling between 40-60mph. Affected models include the 2014-18 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2015-2020 GMC Yukon. Affected owners should be notified via mail of the issue.
This recall comes on the back of an earlier GM recall in September this year in which over 3 million pickups and SUV’s were recalled, also for a braking error.