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Peugeot merger talks progressing well, says CEO Michael Manley

Fiat Chrysler’s CEO Michael Manley stated on Wednesday that merger talks with Peugeot owner PSA to form the world’s No. 4 automaker are progressing well and he hopes to have a deal completed under 12-14 months.

Discussing with Reuters on the sidelines of an industry meeting, Manley said he doesn’t expect any major hindrance that could delay a final agreement.

“Talks are progressing really well,” Manley stated about negotiations with the French automaker ahead of a briefing by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), of which he is president.

His comments come a month following the agreement between the two automakers regarding a binding deal worth about $50 billion to combine forces in response to a downturn in global demand and mounting costs of making cleaner vehicles amid stricter emissions regulations.

Manley’s timeline for finishing the deal by early 2021 is in line with a forecast made by the companies last month.

Both automakers are now getting into the details of how the merger is going to work, including selection of vehicle platforms – the technological underpinnings of a vehicle – will fit which items in a combined company.

Because consumers in different locations still prefer largely different cars, there is room for multiple platforms in a combined group, Manley stated.

“That global platform is an elusive beast,” he added. “This concept of a massive global platform in my mind is nearly a myth but that doesn’t mean to say we’re not going to recruit major volume.”

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