A proposed merger between PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would give FCA access to PSA's more modern and flexible vehicle architectures, potentially enabling the combined companies to achieve lower costs through higher production volumes.
But the process of integrating platforms, powertrains and other components between the two automakers could take four years or longer, according to Sam Fiorani, head of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions.
The two automakers said on Thursday that they will work toward a full combination of their respective businesses by way of a 50/50 merger, pooling resources to confront an expensive new era of trade tariffs, emissions rules and electrification.
PSA would likely get little use out of FCA's larger truck and SUV platforms -- the ones that underpin the big Ram 1500 pickup, the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiorani said.
While those platforms have been heavily revised or replaced in recent years, the vehicles built on them, which generate substantial profit for FCA, are primarily for the North American market, with limited appeal in Europe and other overseas markets.
"I don't see the likelihood of a Ram pickup being sold with a Peugeot badge - anywhere," Fiorani said.
There are numerous precedents for platform consolidation between two large multinational auto companies, the most recent being an agreement between Ford Motor and Volkswagen Group to share VW's MEB electric vehicle architecture.
But PSA also has had recent experience in such consolidation, stemming from its 2017 acquisition of General Motors' European brands Opel and Vauxhall. PSA previously had planned to jointly develop common small car platforms in Europe with GM. But since the Opel/Vauxhall acquisition, PSA has begun the process of shifting the former GM models to its own platforms.
Under CEO Carlos Tavares, PSA has accelerated plans to modernize and simplify its vehicle architectures, with most of its future cars, crossovers and compact vans to be built on just two platforms, Fiorani said.
The company's Efficient Modular Platform, or EMP, was introduced in 2013, and eventually will underpin a wide range of vehicles under PSA's five brands (Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, Vauxhall).
A newer, smaller architecture called Common Modular Platform (CMP) was launched earlier this year and is expected to provide the base for small models ranging from the Peugeot 208 to the Opel Mokka.