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菲亚特、标志有望合并,能否成功取决于四个因素

这两家汽车制造商可以借此分享轿车、SUV和商用车型设计,弥补各自的弱点,并共享成本,从而让新公司成为一家更强大的国际汽车制造商。

位于日本东京的一家经销商展示的菲亚特克莱斯勒NV (FCA) Fiat 500。?#35745;?#26469;源:Toru Hanai/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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通过这个?#27492;?#21521;着获批迈进的合并交易,菲亚特克莱斯勒(FCA)将获得电动汽车?#38469;酰?#32780;标致雪铁龙集团(PSA)将受益于其急需的经销商网络,来实?#21046;?#36827;驻美国市场的目标。

《华尔街日报》在10月30日的报道中引用一位匿名线人的话称,PSA董事会已经批准了此次交易。这次合并的联合市值约为500亿美元,将诞生全球第四大汽车制造商。两家公司均未对此置评。

专家们说,这两家汽车制造商可以借此分享轿车、SUV和商用车型设计,弥补各自的弱点,并共享成本,从而让新公司成为一家更强大的国际汽车制造商。

晨星公司的分析师理查德·西尔基特在致投资者的信件中写道:“有鉴于当前的全球竞争环?#22330;?#36739;高的资本密集度以及电动动力系统和自动驾驶?#38469;?#23545;行业的颠覆?#26434;?#21709;,我们认为这两家公司的合并是合理的。”

菲亚特克莱斯特在10月30日确认说,公司今年与法国竞争对手标致雪铁龙集团再度进行了尝试性接触,为的是在这个汽车业务充满不确定性因素的时代重塑全球汽车产业。在双方接触之前,菲亚特克莱斯勒与法国?#30528;?#30340;合并以失败告终。菲亚特克莱斯勒多年来一直在寻求合作伙伴,以共同承担开发未来?#38469;?#25152;需的大量资金成本。

但一位不愿透露姓名的知情人士称,此次交易何时开展尚无定论,但标致董事会在10月30日召开了会议。

以下四个因素对于两家汽车制造商的成功合并至关重要:

?#38469;?/strong>

多年来,菲亚特克莱斯勒缺乏这位对手的电动汽车?#38469;酰?#20854;前任首席执行官曾经试图劝阻人们购买其在美国发布的唯一一款纯电动汽车Fiat 500E,因为每售一辆都会亏钱。Navigant Research的分析师山姆·阿布尔萨米德说,公司已经在气电混动汽车领域取得了一些进步,而且可能有计划开发更多的纯电动汽车,但标致雪铁龙集团拥有可供菲亚特克莱斯勒使用的宝贵?#38469;酢?/p>

相对来讲,标致在这场电动汽车竞赛中已经落入下风,但如今正在迅速迎头赶上,尤其是拉近与其法国本土竞争对手?#30528;?#30340;距离。首席执行官卡洛斯·塔瓦尔斯曾经在诸多车展上和电话会议上强调,公司有必要根据不断变化的?#38469;?#36827;行调整。去年,他宣布在2025年前,在后续产?#20998;型?#20986;40款电动车型。

阿布尔萨米德说:“到目前为止,电动化占两家业务的比例?#20849;?#26159;很大。对于这两家汽车制造商?#27492;担?#25105;认为无论它们做什么,其规模都小不到哪去,而且它们还能共同承担横跨电动平台的组件成本、开发成本。”

电动汽车的增加还将有助于菲亚特克莱斯?#31456;?#36275;?#20998;?#27745;染和?#21152;?#32463;济标准的要求。

阿布尔萨米德说,就自动驾驶汽车而言,这两家公司都没有优势。但这项?#38469;?#30340;成熟还需要很多年的时间,也为它们承担巨额成本、迎头赶上留出了时间。阿布尔萨米德说,菲亚特克莱斯勒还与其他公司建立了联盟,例如从谷歌剥离的公司Waymo。只要?#38469;?#25104;熟,这家公司随时都可能在市场上推出自动驾驶?#38469;酢?/p>

美国

塔瓦尔斯去年到访底特律时说,标致雪铁龙集团将在10年内进军美国市场。

他说:“如果你希望成为一家国际性公司,美国是必须进驻的市场。”

公司自此一直在开发叫车服务,并与经销商对话,但收效甚微。与菲亚特克莱斯勒的合并可以大大加速这个目标的实现。

菲亚特克莱斯勒在美国有2640家经销商,将为标致和标致雪铁龙集团其他车型提供现成的经销网络。标致雪铁龙集团甚至可能依然通过启用未充分利用的菲亚特和?#30528;?#32463;销商,来保持与菲亚特克莱斯勒品牌之间的独立性。

标致雪铁龙集团专业生产中小车型,但这类车型在?#19981;禨UV和卡车的美国已经失去了市场,甚至一些国际买家也对其失去了兴趣。阿布尔萨米德称,标致雪铁龙集团可以以菲亚特克莱斯勒热销的吉普SUV和Ram系列皮卡为蓝本,打造自有车型。

?#20998;?/strong>

菲亚特克莱斯勒和标致雪铁龙集团在完成并购方面不会遇到什么麻烦,因为意大利和法国之间在打造商用车方面有着数十年的合作。然而,?#20998;?#36824;面临着一个更大的问题。菲亚特、标致、雪铁龙和欧宝阵营之间的小型车型和轿车车型之间会出现很大的重叠。

随?#25490;分?#36710;辆的滞销,公司不得不关?#23637;?#21378;?#20174;?#23545;产能过剩。为了?#27425;?#24037;作岗位,法国和意大利将开展斗争。意大利工厂已经在?#36879;?#33655;运转,尽管它们计划改换这些工厂的用途,以生产利润更高的顶级品牌阿尔法罗密欧和玛莎拉蒂。

分析师表示,被标致雪铁龙集团于2017年从通用汽车手中购买的欧宝,可能会面临最?#29616;?#30340;裁?#20445;?#23427;如今是一家法国企业的子公司,只不过大多数工厂位于德国。此次合并有望帮助菲亚特克莱斯勒拉近与严格的排放标准的距离。分析师预计,标致雪铁龙集团的电动和混合动力系统将有助于加速这一转型。但意大利的工会称,在这场必然十分?#32431;?#30340;电动化转型过程中,政治干预不可或缺。

亚洲

在全球最大的汽车市场中国,此次合并预计对于这两家汽车制造商基本上没有什么帮助。

尽管中国汽车制造商东风在2014年对标致进行了投资,但公司并没有开展实?#24066;?#30340;举措来拓展标致在中国市场的销售业绩。从这一点来看,这两家公司在中国市场上的关系并没有像想象的那样紧密。

标致雪铁龙集团去年称,其在中国的销售额下滑了34%,而汽车市场本身的降幅仅有2%,同时它与东风的合资企业也报出了2.34亿欧元的亏损。

菲亚特克莱斯勒与中国公司广汽集团创建了一家合资企业,推出了四款吉普车型。菲亚特克莱斯勒2018年的销量为16.3万台,下滑了24%。公司称原因在于SUV领域的竞争变得愈发激烈。菲亚特去年在中国的市场份额仅有0.8%。

尽管中国的汽车销量今年再次出现下滑,但业界预期该市场在未来数年将保持增长态势。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校?#21512;?#26519;

In a merger deal that appears to be heading for approval, Fiat Chrysler stands to gain electric vehicle technology while PSA Peugeot Citroen could benefit from a badly needed dealership network to reach its goal of selling vehicles in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources it did not identify, reported on October 30 that the PSA board has approved the deal, which would create the world’s fourth-largest automaker with a combined market value of around $50 billion. Neither company would comment.

Experts say the two automakers would be able to share car, SUV and commercial vehicle designs, helping each other fill weaknesses and share costs that will make them a strong global player.

“We view the combination of these two companies as reasonable given global competition, high capital intensity, and industry disruption from electrified powertrain as well as autonomous technologies,” Morningstar analyst Richard Hilgert wrote in a note to investors.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles confirmed on October 30 that it’s in talks with French rival PSA in its second try this year to reshape the global auto industry at a time of heightened uncertainty for the business. The talks started after a merger with France’s Renault collapsed earlier this year. FCA for years has been looking for a partner to share huge capital costs to develop future technologies.

The timing of any deal is unclear, but the Peugeot board was meeting on October 30, said a person close to the discussions on condition of anonymity.

Here are four areas that could be crucial to the two automakers’ success:

Technology

For years, Fiat Chrysler has lagged its rivals in electric vehicle technology, with its former CEO once trying to discourage people from buying its only fully electric car in the United States, the Fiat 500E, because he lost money on each sale. The company has made progress on gas-electric hybrids and may have plans for more fully electric vehicles, but PSA has valuable technology that FCA can use, said Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid.

Peugeot was relatively late to the electric vehicle game but is now working fast to catch up, notably with fellow French rival Renault. CEO Carlos Tavares has made a point of stressing the company’s need to adapt to changing technology at car shows and earnings calls. Last year he announced plans to offer 40 electric models across its lineup by 2025.

“Electrification hasn’t been a huge part of their play up until now,” Abuelsamid said. “Between the two of them, I think they could generate some scale for whatever they’re doing, sharing component costs, development costs across electrical platforms,” he said.

More electric vehicles also would help FCA meet pollution and fuel economy regulations in Europe.

United States

At an appearance in Detroit last year, Tavares said PSA would be selling vehicles in the U.S. within the next decade.

“If you want to be a global player, you have to be there,” he said.

The company has since been working on ride-hailing services and talking to dealerships, but little progress has been revealed. A deal with FCA could accelerate that goal greatly.

With 2,640 dealers across the U.S., Fiat Chrysler would be a ready distribution network for Peugeot and other PSA vehicles. PSA even could remain separate from Fiat Chrysler brands by selling in underutilized Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealerships.

PSA specializes in small and medium-sized cars, which have fallen out of favor with U.S. and even some international buyers who prefer SUVs and trucks. PSA could build its own vehicles off the underpinnings of FCA’s hot selling Jeep SUVs and Ram trucks, Abuelsamid said.

Europe

Fiat Chrysler and PSA are likely to have an easier time completing a merger due to decades of cooperation in both Italy and France on building commercial vehicles. But Europe will also pose one of the bigger problems. There is a large overlap in the types of smaller cars and sedans built under the Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen and Opel marquees.

That raises the specter of factory closures to deal with overproduction as European car sales lag. France and Italy will fight to protect jobs; Italian plants are already working under capacity despite plans to repurpose them for higher-margin premium brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

Analysts say that Opel, purchased by PSA from General Motors in 2017, could face the most drastic cuts, as it is now part of a French company even though most of its plants are in Germany. The merger is expected to help Fiat Chrysler get closer to meeting strict emissions standards with analysts expecting PSA’s electric and hybrid powertrains to help speed the transition. But Italian unions say that there needs to also be political involvement in the admittedly painful transition to electrified powertrains.

Asia

The merger is expected to do very little to help the two carmakers in the world’s largest market: China.

Despite a 2014 investment in Peugeot by the Chinese carmaker Dongfeng, there has been no real push to expand the French carmaker’s sales in the Chinese market. This seems to indicate that the two carmakers are not as intertwined in China as expected.

PSA Peugeot last year reported its sales in China down 34% in a market that slipped just 2%, with the Dongfeng joint venture posting losses last year of 234 million euros.

Fiat Chrysler, which produces four Jeep models in a joint venture with the Chinese company GAC, saw sales dropped 24% to 163,000 in 2018. It cited higher competition the SUV segment. Fiat had just a 0.8% market share in China last year.

While China sales are off again this year, they are projected to keep growing in future years.

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