Chrysler Founder's Great-Grandson Trying To Stop Merger

Industry News / Comments

Is his plan too little too late?

The proposed $38 billion merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and French Groupe PSA passed its final regulatory hurdle just over a week ago and is now on course to become the world's fourth-largest automaker. The transaction's final approval is due to happen on January 4, 2021 and the final agreement will be signed no later than March 31, 2021. The newly combined automaker, Stellantis, will include all of FCA's brands including Jeep, Ram, Fiat, and Chrysler as well as Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel. But not everyone is pleased with what's happening.

The great-grandson of Chrysler Corporation found Walter P. Chrysler, Frank B. Rhodes, Jr., sent a request on December 24 to FCA to consider his merger plan alternative. In short, he doesn't like the idea of his great-grandfather's company becoming a multi-nationally-owned corporation.

Driving Front Angle Dodge
2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Front Angle View CarBuzz
2015-2021 Chrysler 300 Sedan Front View Chrysler

"This alternative proposal is in my opinion superior to the planned merger and would result in the return to the United States of the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram brands and away from the proposed Chinese, and foreign control as proposed in the Merger," he said.

Rhodes specifically wants to change the name of the company to Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram Corporation and have its headquarters located in the US, but will still keep the London-based European headquarters. To further sweeten the deal, he also proposes for existing management and all employees to receive a retention bonus based on tenure. Stockholders would also receive rights to acquire shares if the proposed company were to go public at some point. All existing debts should be paid off as well.

Front Angle View Chrysler
Front-End View Ram
2019-2021 Ram 1500 Front-End View CarBuzz
9 Times Automakers Surprised Us With A New Model
9 Times Automakers Surprised Us With A New Model
8 Record-Breaking Cars Nobody Cares About
8 Record-Breaking Cars Nobody Cares About

"The plans should be to grow through add-on acquisitions and create a vertically integrated manufacturer through carefully planned acquisitions of both OEMs and suppliers but also through acquisitions of transportation-related businesses," added Mr. Rhodes.

He also filed an objection to the proposed Stellantis merger with the Committee of Foreign Investment in the US. And has reached out to US Senators to convince them the merger isn't a good thing for America, specifically future profits and technologies. It's worth bearing in mind one of the reasons FCA wants to merge with PSA is because it's lagging behind in EV development and related platforms. PSA, obviously, wants access to highly profitable vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500. Mr. Rhodes' last-minute proposal, needless to say, stands no chance of succeeding.

2018-2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Frontal Aspect CarBuzz
2020-2021 Jeep Gladiator Frontal Aspect CarBuzz
2020-2021 Jeep Gladiator Aft View CarBuzz

Join The Discussion


2015-2021 Chrysler 300 Sedan Front View
2015-2021 Chrysler 300 Sedan Front View
Front Angle View
2019-2021 Ram 1500 Front-End View
To Top