Stellantis wants differentiation, but with as many of the same components as possible

‘Reskin’ as a magic word

Stellantis CMP platform Jeep Avenger Peugeot 2008

‘One size does not fit all’, Stellantis shouts loudly in a large, global annual presentation. This explains the wide range of brands that the American/European group adheres to, but at the same time Stellantis’ profits largely come from sharing parts.

Actually refreshing: Stellantis, which was created from the merger of FCA and PSA, has officially gotten rid of the globalization organ and fully admits that it is necessary to come up with market-specific products per world region and even per country. Take Europe for example, where 70 percent of the market is owned by European brands. That may seem logical, but do not forget that the automotive world has been under the spell of globalization in recent years. The fact that many new EVs are quite large crossovers has everything to do with this: such a model not only scores in Europe, but potentially also in North America, Asia and elsewhere. The same applies to new brands, which are launched into the world from China or from the ranks of existing car manufacturers (Polestar), and which, if possible, have to score everywhere.

It is equally well known that Stellantis does not pay more or less attention to one brand. The gigantic group has Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Chrysler in American showrooms, while in Europe we know it from Abarth, Fiat, Citroën, Opel, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, DS and Lancia. Indeed, the only reason that the latter two can coexist seems to us (speculatively) to be that DS has more potential in France, and Lancia in Italy.

Stellantis also wants to differentiate in other areas. The company paints a picture of the success factors that were leading until recently, such as working on a global scale, leadership in the largest and most prominent markets (Europe and North America), strong brands with a loyal customer base and of course good products. According to Stellantis, that set of old values ​​has been disrupted by, among other things, the rise of China and electrification, but also changing customer expectations.

It is now much more important than it was a few years ago to keep a close eye on not only those two leading markets, but each individual market and to serve them with specific products. Even within one country there can be enormous differences. As an example, Stellantis mentions ‘fragmentation of climate consciousness’, or the extent to which people are aware of or interested in climate issues. Awareness is high on the west coast of the US and therefore a relatively large number of electrified products are sold, but elsewhere in America the situation is different.

Differentiation is the magic word, but at the same time Stellantis prides itself on the fact that it achieves enormous economies of scale. Stellantis would only spend 2,053 euros on R&D per car sold, compared to 4,217 for a group of competitors selected by Stellantis itself. How does the company combine those two things? By offering many different powertrains within a single model, but also by what we already know from Stellantis: exploiting every platform as much as possible. In the presentation, Stellantis proudly reports that 60 percent of the portfolio will now be built as a so-called ‘reskin’ or other derivative. We are already seeing a lot of ‘reskinning’, also in Europe. Consider the way in which a Lancia Ypsilon is largely identical to the Opel Corsa, but also the more subtle way in which the Jeep Avenger shares not only its platform, but also many less striking exterior and interior parts with the Fiat 600e.

We would also like to note that there is a huge technical difference between the models that Stellantis sells in North America and those from Europe. Almost the entire Stellantis range is now built around platforms and with (infotainment) technology from the French PSA house, while modern Jeeps and Rams are still packed with parts that we know from the old FCA. It will certainly be interesting to see what will happen in that regard with the new Jeep Renegade. After all, this compact Jeep is relevant in both world regions and is also made in Europe.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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