Driveway Outtake: Strange Bedfellows in Three Shades of Grey

This past Wednesday (December 18, 2019), Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group (Peugeot) announced they had agreed to binding merger terms that will create a $50 billion company and one of the largest automakers by sales. If approved by regulatory bodies, trade unions and politicians, the merger will bring the Fiat, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Maserati, Peugeot, Opel, Vauxhall and DS brands under one yet-to-be-named corporate umbrella. So what does that have to do with this recent shot of our ’15 RAM 2500, ’17 Chev SS and ’18 Buick Regal TourX?

Should the merger be consummated, it means all three vehicle brands can be (somewhat circuitously) connected:

The Chevrolet SS Sport Sedan was sold as a captive import in the USA from 2014–2017, and is a lightly rebadged Holden Commodore (VF) SS-V Redline (a GM brand, at least for now). It was also sold in the UK as the Vauxhall VXR8.

The Buick Regal TourX was sold as a captive import in the USA from 2018–2020, and is a lightly rebadged Opel Insignia Country Tourer. It was also sold in Australia as the Holden Commodore (VB) Tourer and in the UK as the Vauxhall Insignia (B) Sports Tourer. Shortly after we purchased ours, GM announced the sale of Opel to PSA Group, and earlier this month, GM announced both the Buick Regal and Holden Commodore families have been discontinued altogether, making for an abbreviated 2020 model year.

The RAM 2500 is of course a Fiat Chrysler product, which connects the final dot if the merger happens. Given the current popularity of pickups, I think I’m pretty safe in betting against a hat trick of orphaned vehicles.

Since this is only an Outtake, I’ll leave the deeper industry analysis to one of our other authors, but will at least echo their observations that the global auto market is going through a period of major upheaval. When it comes time for us to go through another replacement cycle in 5-10 years, I suspect our choices (other than the truck) will look very different.