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Peugeot, Fiat Chrysler may join forces on 'super platform' in Europe, report says

The collaboration would likely extend to electric cars, as well.

Peugeot

In March, a report circulated that claimed Peugeot's PSA Group might consider buddying up with Fiat Chrysler. Now, there's a new report that lends even more credence to the idea.

PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler are currently investigating a partnership in Europe, Bloomberg reports, citing sources close to the matter. PSA Group did not immediately return Roadshow's request for comment, and a PSA spokesman declined to make additional comments to Bloomberg. A Fiat Chrysler spokesperson declined to comment to Roadshow. Bloomberg's source said an official plan might be unveiled by the halfway point of 2019.

According to Bloomberg's sources, the two automaker groups are focusing on the idea of a "super platform" that could be used as the underpinning for both future PSA and FCA vehicles. Platform sharing, which is not an uncommon move in the industry of late, helps automakers divvy up the hefty cost of developing a vehicle platform from scratch. As cars continue to grow in complexity, automakers have expressed more concern about trying to minimize costs where possible.

PSA Group bought Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors in 2017. A partnership with Fiat Chrysler could further improve PSA's position in both Europe and the US.

Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

Electrification is also a likely sticking point for these two groups, provided the report's claims are true. Developing electric vehicles is a costly endeavor, one that FCA has largely kept on the back burner to date, so finding the right partner in that arena could help the automaker expand its portfolio in the face of ever-tightening regulations in various markets.

The partnership could also provide a boon to PSA Group as it prepares to reenter the US market. By teaming up with a domestic automaker, PSA Group could lean on FCA's experience with the US market to better position its own launch. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares told The Wall Street Journal recently that its acquisition of Opel has already given PSA Group valuable information about the US market.

Neither automaker has been shy about the idea of finding a new partner. Bloomberg's report points to prior comments from Tavares, who told WSJ that the company is in "continuous discussions" but it has "no specific, deep, ongoing negotiations." FCA CEO Mike Manley has made similar comments recently, saying that he is interested in partnerships that will strengthen FCA's position.