January 28, 2021
FCA has a new flexible electrified platform on the way

FCA has a new flexible electrified platform on the way


Could this new platform have something to do with its new French friend, PSA?


FCA

First came a successful Unifor labor contract negotiation with Ford in Canada, and now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. On Monday, the Canadian auto union ratified a new three-year labor agreement with FCA, but the bigger news is in the nuggets of info FCA and the union provided about future vehicles.

The big ticket item is a new “multi-energy vehicle architecture” mentioned that will find a home at FCA’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario. Right now, the plant builds the Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager minivans, though the facility suffered a blow when the automaker culled the facility’s third shift. This new platform should support all sorts of electrification, judging by the fancy “multi-energy” name, and the auto union said its coming could add 2,000 new jobs to the Windsor plant. Production of the first vehicle riding on the architecture will begin in 2024, Unifor added.

FCA declined to comment on specifics surrounding this new platform, but Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, believes the architecture could be part of FCA’s coming merger with France’s PSA Group. The two plan to close a 50/50 merger of their automakers next year, following which it’ll be known as Stellantis. According to Fiorani, the “multi-energy” architecture could possibly come with help from its new French mate. PSA already has two ultraflexible platforms in its stable: the EMP2 and CMP architectures that support varying levels of electrification for SUVs and small cars. It very well could form the basis for FCA’s own platform since it’s largely avoided any major stance on electrified vehicles. That’s with good reason, Fiorani said. “Nobody has proven that a significant portion of the market is ready for electric vehicles and definitely not at a profitable price.”

“The PSA platforms and vehicles have already been designed so making the adjustments for North American safety regulations is less expensive than developing a whole new vehicle from scratch,” he added.


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