FCA-Renault’s 15-brand stable covers sports cars to budget models

The proposed combination of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with Renault would bring together 15 brands from Dacia to Maserati.

Abarth: Italian brand of high-performance variants of Fiat mainstream models. Founded in 1949 and taken over by Fiat in 1971, it was closed in 1981 and restarted operations in 2007. It offers, mainly in Europe, beefed-up versions of the 500 minicar and the 124 Spider. Sales increased 7.4 percent to 26,736 units last year.

Alfa Romeo: Italian brand specialized in sports cars with a strong racing heritage. Founded in 1910 and bought by Fiat in 1986. After ceasing production of the Mito small car and low-volume 4C coupe and spider, it sells just 3 models: the Giulietta compact hatchback, Giulia midsize sedan and Stelvio midsize SUV. Alfa last year increased global sales by 10 percent to 119,269 vehicles, of which 69 percent were in Europe and 21 percent in the U.S. and Canada. The Stelvio was the brand’s best seller at 46,087 units.

Alpine: French sports-car brand that gained significant success in rally racing, as well as pure race cars mainly for endurance racing. Founded in 1955 and bought by Renault in 1973, it ceased production of road cars in 1989. In 2017 it was relaunched with a model called the A110, named after the most famous Alpine model, the original A110 from 1971. Alpine sold 2,091 units in 2018, the first full year of production for the new A110.

Chrysler: The namesake brand of the North American side of FCA offers just 2 models, the 300 large sedan and Pacifica minivan, the latter the only plug-in hybrid model within FCA. Founded in 1925 and merged into Fiat in 2014, Chrysler last year saw its sales decrease by 13 percent to 178,102 units globally, of which 166,000 were in the U.S.

Dacia: The Romanian low-cost brand had been a global success for Renault, which distributes some Dacia models branded as Renault outside of Europe. Created in 1966, it started out assembling Renault 8 models from kits. Dacia was taken over by Renault in 1999 and relaunched with a new range of products. Sales of Dacia-branded models peaked at 700,798 units last year, a 7 percent increase from 2017. Its best-known model is the Duster compact SUV, with over 213,000 units sold last year, but its No. 1 seller was the Sandero hatchback at over 278,000 units.

Dodge: American brand founded in 1900 and acquired by Chrysler in 1928, it offers performance cars — the Charger large sedan and Challenger coupe — as well as an SUV, crossover and minivan. Its 2018 sales declined by 3.9 percent to 554,782 units, mostly sold in North America.

Fiat: The namesake brand of the Italian side of FCA turns 120 years old in July. It has substantial manufacturing and sales operations in Europe and Latin America, as well as a successful light-commercial vehicle division, Fiat Professional. The brand abandoned China and is falling fast in the U.S., where sales plunged 41 percent to 15,521 units last year. Global sales last year declined 8.5 percent to 1.38 million. Its best-known model is the 500 minicar, a 2007 reinterpretation of the legendary model introduced in 1957.

Jeep: The roots of this iconic U.S. off-road brand date to the 1943 Willys-Overland military vehicle. The company was sold to Kaiser Motors in 1953 and to American Motors in 1970. Renault took over American Motors in 1979 and sold it to Chrysler in 1987. Jeep has been the success story of Fiat’s tenure at Chrysler. When Fiat merged with Chrysler in 2014, Jeep sold 1 million units and had 4 plants in the U.S. Last year, Jeep increased global sales by 11.3 percent to 1.55 million units with 10 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico, Italy, Brazil, China and India. Its most iconic model is the Wrangler SUV, an heir of the original Willys-Overland, while its best-selling model in 2018 was the Compass compact SUV with 413,000 units.

Jinbei: Renault’s Chinese joint-venture, consolidated for the first time in 2018, sold 165,603 units last year, more than 90 percent being light-commercial vehicles.

Lada: Russia’s No.1 automaker could return under the wings of the company that created it, Fiat. In 1966, a massive technology transfer from Fiat to the Russian state created AvtoVAZ and the Togliatti complex. Although Lada had been producing modified Fiat models for 55 years, the Italian automaker never owned even a symbolic stake in Lada’s parent AvtoVAZ. Renault bought a 25 percent interest in AvtoVAZ in 2008 and became the controlling shareholder in 2012. Lada last year increased sales by 19 percent to 398,282 units, primarily in Russia and neighboring countries. The Vesta small sedan and wagon was Lada’s best seller at 119,150 units in 2018.

Lancia: Founded in 1906 as an Italian luxury brand focused on design and comfort, it was taken over by Fiat in 1969. Lancia fortunes began to decline a decade ago when Fiat drastically reduced its pipeline of new models. Two years ago, Lancia was reduced to just 1 model — the Ypsilon small car — sold only in Italy, where it found 48,557 customers in 2018. Lancia’s most iconic model is the Delta Integrale, which dominated rally racing for over a decade and became a legend in the UK and Japan, despite never being offered with right-hand drive.

Maserati: Race car maker born in Bologna in 1914 and moved to Modena in 1937, the first in a long series of ownership changes. Fiat bought an initial stake in 1989 and completed the takeover in 1993, giving full control of Maserati to its then-subsidiary Ferrari. Maserati today builds the Ghibli midsize sedan, Quattroporte large sedan and Levante midsize SUV. It is about to discontinue its coupe and cabriolet niche models. Sales last year fell by 28 percent to 35,238 units as the brand slumped in its 2 largest markets, China and the U.S.

Ram: The American nameplate that Dodge had used for its pickup models became a standalone brand within what was called the Chrysler Group in 2009, a move by then-CEO Sergio Marchionne to extract value. Ram grew its global sales from 263,000 units in 2009 to 720,456 in 2018, up by 4.2 percent. It is sold mainly in North America, where it also distributes Fiat Professional vans under the Ram brand.

Renault: Founded 5 months before Fiat, on February 25, 1899, Renault was nationalized in early 1945, the year after founder Louis Renault died in prison, where he was held over accusations of collaborating with Germany during World War II. Renault is the No.1 French brand by sales. Last year global sales of the brand declined by 5.2 percent to 2.5 million units, with a strong presence in Europe and significant sales in North Africa, Brazil, India and Russia. Its best-selling model was the Clio small car at 416,000 units in 2018. The Renault brand has by far the most diverse product portfolio in the proposed FCA-Renault merger: 23 models, including 6 SUVs or crossovers and 4 light-commercial vehicles.

Renault Samsung Motors: Established as Samsung Motors in 1994 by South Korean electronics conglomerate Samsung with technical assistance from Nissan. The company started selling cars in 1998, just before South Korea was hit by the Asian financial crisis. In September 2000, it became a subsidiary of Renault and was renamed Renault Samsung Motors, also known as RSM. Last year, sales decreased 5 percent to 84,954 units. The best-selling model (33,000 units) was the QM6, sister model to the Renault Koleos SUV.

NOTE: FCA brand sales figures come from JATO Dynamics; Renault Group figures come from the company.