The most immediate help FCA can get in Europe comes from PSA’s up-to-date platforms. FCA has already told its suppliers that its next generation of small cars will switch to PSA’s Common Modular Platform (CMP).
In its note to suppliers, FCA said it will build CMP-based small cars in its plant in Tychy, Poland. The factory currently makes the Fiat 500 and Lancia Ypsilon. FCA told suppliers it will build up to 400,000 units a year of CMP-based models in Tychy.
The CMP platform underpins PSA cars including the new Citroen C4, Peugeot 208 and 2008, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and the new Mokka as well as the DS3 Crossback. All these models have internal combustion engines as well as full-electric variants, thus enabling FCA to catch up with the electrification of its product range.
The decision to move to CMP will help FCA execute its strategy of abandoning the minicar segment to focus on selling small cars, a move announced by CEO Mike Manley in October 2019.
FCA could also leverage two other PSA platforms. One, EMP2, which underpins compact and midsize models, including the highly profitable and strong selling Peugeot 3008 crossover, has recently undergone a revamp.
PSA is preparing a new electric-first platform, e-VMP, which is derived from EMP2. It will be used from 2023 or 2024 onward, starting with the next-generation 3008, PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said in an interview with Automotive News Europe, although EMP2-based vehicles will continue to be produced.
Using those platforms on Fiat, Lancia and Jeep models could help FCA quickly rejuvenate its product range at much lower development cost. It could also help fill its European plants, which are running at less than 50 percent of their capacity.
The move might also help revive Alfa Romeo, which has seen sales plummet and has just two new models in its product plan. One of them, the Tonale compact SUV, will be based on current Jeep Compass’ underpinnings and will also have a plug-in hybrid variant. The other is a small SUV, due to have a battery-electric variant and expected to be based on the CMP platform.
Alfa Romeo’s midsize models are on the front-engine, rear-wheel drive/all-wheel-drive Giorgio platform, which will also be used for the Maserati Grecale, a midsize SUV expected in late 2021.
At a presentation in September, Manley said that Maserati would keep its position within Stellantis, but as a luxury brand it would have limited synergies with the group’s mass-market offerings.