DETROIT — The 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group brought together 14 brands with varying levels of market success. A key question going into the tie-up was whether all of these brands would have a future under one umbrella.
Early on, there are signs they will, Stellantis North America COO Mark Stewart said Monday.
"Can everything survive? Everybody's got a fighting chance, and everybody is performing, which is great," Stewart said at the Automotive News Congress in Detroit.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares last year said he's giving each brand a 10-year window to execute a business plan. Tavares said brand leaders have the chance to build and carry out a long-term vision.
This approach has breathed new life into brands such as Chrysler, which has been trudging along with a shallow product lineup in North America and appeared to be in need of direction before the merger.
Stewart said Monday that he's proud of Chrysler's new vision that calls for the brand to go all electric by 2028. The product-starved brand will debut its first battery-electric model by 2025. Chrysler has provided a glimpse of the road ahead with an electric crossover concept called the Airflow.
"Obviously we've had a lot of different names over the years, but we are a house of 14 brands. And what's incredible about bringing the brands together, it's just that they're highly differentiated brands," Stewart said. "Everybody has a personality on the brand side, and to be able to fit in different parts of the market without clashing into each other, people are like, 'Oh my gosh, how can you feed 14 children?' "
Stellantis is preparing to launch more than 25 battery electric vehicles in North America by 2030.
Several are due in 2024, including the first electric Ram pickup that’ll go up against competitors from Ford, General Motors and Rivian that have will have been on the market for several years by time Ram’s entry arrives.
Ram has using insights gleaned from its Ram Revolution insider program and a series of town hall conversations called the Ram Real Talk Tour is looking to jump in with a superior offering after its rivals cultivate a market that barely exists today. Ram CEO Mike Koval told Automotive News in April that the brand will pair what it learns from pickup owners with the knowledge it already has about the capabilities of competitors' options.
Stewart said having the extra time will work to Ram’s benefit.
“We are later to the party, obviously, than everybody else,” Stewart said. “We're about two years behind putting that into the marketplace compared to others. What is critical is that we come in with leadership.
“So we have more time to actually make sure all the things that the customers are loving today that have given us tremendous market share growth, that we don't lose that and that we're also able to tweak and refine because the other guys have done a really good job.”