It seems that the merger between the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (PSA) forming the new automaker Stellantis is paying off. According to data provided by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Stellantis was the leading automaker in the European marketplace during the first two months of 2021, surpassing German automaker Volkswagen Group.
The data shows that Stellantis sold a total of 480,888 vehicles in 30 different European countries between January 1st and February 28th, 2021. That is 28,488 units more than the Volkswagen Group which has been the leader in the region for over the past two decades, which had a total of 452,400 units sold.
But how did Stellantis take the top spot? If you were to breakdown the numbers, the Stellantis took the top spot thanks to a huge boom in light commercial vehicle sales. The data showed that Volkswagen Group still led the way for passenger vehicle sales, with 419,855 of its total vehicles being passenger cars. Stellantis on the other hand only sold 377,244 passenger cars, but thanks to a boost of 103,644 light commercial sales during the time were enough to put the new automaker up on top.
Volkswagen Group ended up selling 3.23 million vehicles during pandemic stricken 2020. If you combine the total sales for both FCA and PSA during 2020, the newly formed Stellantis sold around 3.03 million vehicles last year. So it appears that Stellantis is off to a much better position to challenge Volkswagen in 2021, but can they do it?
The Peugeot brand played an integral part in the automaker’s success for the first two months. Two vehicles in the French brand’s portfolio are among the top-selling vehicles in the region. The popular Peugeot 208 led the way for 18,351 units sold and its platform-mate the Peugeot 2008 crossover which sold 16,845 units. The 208 is a 5-door hatchback based on the PSA Common Modular Platform (CMP) platform, which offers gasoline, diesel, and as of 2020 electrified powertrains. The 2008 is a sub-compact crossover that also offers gasoline, diesel, and electrified powertrains, but only offers front-wheel-drive.
The news sheds some positive light for Stellantis, amid some controversial cost-cutting measures done by Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. Tavares stated he would not cut jobs or close plants following the creation of the new automaker, but is known for extreme cost-cutting at PSA which turned the company to profitability. Over the past year, Tavares has continued his cost-cutting ways to offset the lower profitability he expects to see due to growing electrified offerings the company will be producing.