New Name For Fiat-Chrysler Will Be 'Stellantis' After Merger With PSA

FCA
Photo credit (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) FILE

(WWJ) There was Chrysler, then Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. 

Now there's Stellantis.

FCA and French automaker PSA on Wednesday announced the new name of their combined companies, after a merger to take place next month.

"It draws inspiration from this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility," said the company, in a statement. 

So, what does it mean?

Stellantis is rooted in the Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars.” It draws inspiration, the automaker says, from "this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility while at the same time preserving all the exceptional value and the values of its constituent parts."

The process of identifying the new name began soon after the Combination Agreement was announced and the senior management of both companies have been closely involved throughout, supported by Publicis Group.

"The name’s Latin origins pay tribute to the rich history of its founding companies while the evocation of astronomy captures the true spirit of optimism, energy and renewal driving this industry-changing merger," a media release continues. 

As the news was breaking, WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert spoke with analyst Rebecca Lindland, founder of auto-industry review site RebeccaDrives.com

She hadn't heard about it yet.

"Stellantis? It sounds like an undersea Atlantis resort," Lindland said. 

Gilbert said while some in the industry, and many on social media are make jokes about the name, the company is quite serious about it. 

The name will be used exclusively at the Group level, as a Corporate brand. That means the names and the logos of the auto group’s constituent brands, such as Ram and Fiat, will remain unchanged.

The next step in the process will be the unveiling of a logo that with the name will become the corporate brand identity.  

The new name will take effect early in 2021.