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Maserati MC20 Launch: Maserati rolls out M20 super sports car to drive turnaround ahead of FCA-PSA merger |

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MILAN: After more than a year in a tailspin, Italian sports car brand Maserati unveiled on Wednesday a new high performance sports car, part of a bid by parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to revive its premium vehicle strategy heading into its merger with French automaker Peugeot SA.
The Maserati MC20 rollout in Italy’s auto city of Modena is part of a parade of new vehicles planned between now and 2023 to bolster Fiat Chrysler’s presence in the global high-end auto market. Germany’s Porsche, Ferrari NV, Britain’s Aston Martin Lagonda, Tesla Inc’s Model S and Model X, and others represent tough competition.
The MC20 will launch with an internal combustion engine, with a full-electric version expected later.

Maserati has a crucial role in Stellantis, the new group stemming from the planned merger of FCA and PSA. The joint portfolio has no other global luxury brand besides top-of-the-line Jeep and Ram truck models that sell for luxury vehicle prices in North America.
PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares, who will head Stellantis, has said he sees no need to scrap any brands after the merger.
“I can imagine Tavares actually being quite keen on having the likes of Maserati as part of the wider group,” IHS Markit analyst Ian Fletcher said.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley has been investing in Maserati despite the brand’s poor performance. The brand had a 199 million euro ($235 million) operating loss last year, as shipments plunged 45% worldwide.
In the second quarter, hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, Maserati‘s operating loss totaled 99 million euros, shipments fell by 52%, and margins shrank 53.5%.
Still, Manley has stuck to a multi-year plan to resurrect the brand, which would give Fiat Chrysler a foothold in the lucrative global luxury vehicle segment if the company can find the right combination of style, technology and performance to compete against Tesla, the German luxury brands and Ferrari.
FCA said last year Maserati would get a significant portion of 5 billion euros planned for investment in Italy through 2021.
“We’re now getting to the point where those investments will begin to hit the marketplace,” Manley said in July. “My expectation … is that we’ll begin to see some solid progress on that front in Q4, which will continue as we get through to 2021.”
Maserati earlier this year issued a hybrid version of its Ghibli luxury sedan, and plans to launch between 2021 and 2022 a new SUV and redesigned GranTurismo and GranCabrio models, the brand’s first full-electric cars.

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EV start-up Rivian raises $2.65 billion in new funding round led by T. Rowe Price

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Rivian, the electric vehicle start-up backed by Amazon and Ford Motor, on Tuesday said it closed on a $2.65 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price funds as the company moves closer to production of an all-electric pickup and SUV.

The company has raised about about $8 billion since 2019. Rivian closed on a $2.5 billion investment round last year, also led by T. Rowe Price; a $1.3 billion funding round in December 2019; and had raised at least $1.5 billion before that.

Other participants in the round included Fidelity, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners as well as several other existing and new investors, according tot he company.

Rivian is expected to be among the first, if not the first, to bring an all-electric pickup to market later this year.


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MG Hector vs Jeep Compass: 2021 Facelift showdown

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NEW DELHI: The 2021 MG Hector facelift was launched recently and its key rival, the 2021 Jeep Compass facelift was also unveiled parallelly. Both the SUVs have taken their duel to a different level right at the beginning of 2021. While both the SUVs avoided a plethora of changes in the new facelift, they do come with a couple of prominent changes to enhance their appeal.
TOI Auto takes a look at both the rivals to see which one comes out on top, at least on paper, and based on the new additions, which one actually deserves a spot in your garage.

Price
Starting off with the key factor, the 2021 MG Hector facelift is priced between Rs 12.89 lakh – Rs 18.32 lakh (ex-showroom). Keeping the current competition in mind, the Hector facelift has been priced very aggressively. The MG Hector facelift is available in 4 variants – Style, Super, Smart and the range-topping Sharp.
While the Jeep Compass facelift’s launch is awaited on January 27, it is expected to start somewhere around Rs 17 lakh (ex-showroom). The 2021 Jeep Compass facelift might be offered in 5 variants- Sports, Longitude, Limited, Limited (O) and a new S variant.
Engine
Both the SUVs were upgraded to meet BS6-compliance in 2020 and the engine options have been carried forward to the 2021 facelifts without any changes.
The MG Hector facelift comes with 1.5-litre turbo-petrol (normal and hybrid) engine and the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. The same goes for the 2021 Jeep Compass facelift as it carries over the previous 1.4-litre multi-air petrol engine and the 2.0-litre multi-jet diesel engine. The diesel engine are in fact shared between the two.

Changes: MG Hector facelift
Starting with the MG Hector, the facelift manages to retain its sporty yet urban character and the most prominent change comes in the form of its front fascia. Along with that, there are some minor improvements in terms of creature comforts, interior styling and the connected in-car tech.
The MG Hector retains its original silhouette but the new visual additions like the redesigned signature front grille, gunmetal skid plates, new 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, add to the bold character of the SUV. The Hector also comes with an enhanced rear-profile as the tailgate comes with a dark garnish adding to the aggressive styling of the SUV.

When it comes to tech, the Hector facelift gets the latest version of iSmart connected tech and features like Hinglish commands and external Wi-Fi connection ability are expected to strike chords with the audience. On the inside, the MG Hector facelift greets you with new dual-tone champagne and black colour scheme and the ventilated front seats, wireless charger and auto-dimming IRVM also improve the in-cabin experience.
Changes: Jeep Compass facelift
The changes in the 2021 Jeep Compass are much bigger in magnitude as the SUV comes with a completely refreshed exterior, interior and also comes with a few new features to enhance the in-cabin experience.
On the outside, the Compass facelift retains its silhouette but flaunts a completely redesigned front fascia. New reflectors with LED projectors, seven-slot front grille, trapezoidal wheel arches improve the overall image of the SUV.

Step inside the Compass and you’ll find a quite spacious interior compared to the previous model. The mid bolster piece with a metal brow, fluted shapes and clear lines add to the elegance of the cabin. The new dashboard design makes the SUV appear much more modern on the inside. The ventilated front seats, 10.1-inch screen, sunroof improve the in-cabin experience too. Keeping it at par with its rival, the Compass also enhances its Connected prowess with the new UConnect-5 system.


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What to know about Stellantis as it makes its NYSE debut

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Flag with the Stellantis logo on the front entrance to FCA’s Mirafiori plant on January 18, 2021 in Turin, Italy.

Stefano Guidi | Getty Images

Stellantis – the merged automaker of Fiat Chrysler and France-based Groupe PSA – will begin trading Tuesday under the symbol “STLA” on the New York Stock Exchange.

The $52 billion merger was finalized Saturday with the new company’s shares trading Monday under the same ticker symbol on the Euronext in Paris and on the Borsa Italiana in Milan, Italy. Trading of U.S.-based shares were delayed a day because the U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Stellantis is the world’s fourth-largest automaker by volume. The company’s operations, including its 400,000 employees, will largely be in North America and Europe.

Here’s what else you should know about the company:

Shares

After the completion of the merger, Groupe PSA shareholders received about 1.7 shares of Stellantis for each PSA share, while Fiat Chrysler shareholders received 1 share of Stellantis for each of their shares.

In a virtual launch on the Borsa Italiana website, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, former CEO of Groupe PSA, said the merger would add 25 billion euros ($30.3 billion) in value to shareholders over the coming years due to projected cost cuts.

“All of our employees and our management teams are totally focused on the value creation that is embedded on the merger of FCA-PSA and the creation of Stellantis,” he said.

Cost-cutting

The merger is expected to provide about 5 billion euros, or $6.1 billion, in annual cost savings, according to officials.

Stellantis

The company’s name is rooted in the Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars,” the companies have said.

The name Stellantis will be used for the umbrella corporation, but not for its vehicles. The company’s 14 individual auto brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep and Peugeot – all which have historical significance in their respective countries – will remain unchanged.

Board of directors

The Stellantis Board of Directors is composed of two executive directors, Tavares and former Fiat Chrysler chairman John Elkann.

The companies non-executive directors are:

  • Robert Peugeot, of the French automaker’s Peugeot family
  • Henri de Castries, former CEO of insurer Axa S.A.
  • Andrea Agnelli, Elkann’s cousin and a member of the family that controls Fiat Chrysler
  • Fiona Clare Cicconi, chief human resources officer at AstraZeneca PLC
  • Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of French investment bank Bpifrance S.A.
  • Ann Frances Godbehere, director at Royal Dutch Shell PLC
  • Wan Ling Martello, partner and co-founder at private equity firm BayPine
  • Jacques de Saint-Exupéry, head of the workers’ council at PSA
  • Kevin Scott, chief technology officer at Microsoft Corp.

– CNBC’s Elliot Smith contributed to this report.


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