Stellantis. Really, Stellantis? After months of reflection, this is the name that has been adopted for the new company that will be born from the marriage of the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile) and PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme) groups. The new corporate entity will take shape at the beginning of 2021, which at least gives everyone a little time to get used to the name.
And get used to it we surely will, even if the name seems at first encounter more appropriate for a lost continent from the Ice Age, a constellation located millions of kilometres from our Milky Way, or even the future name of the drug that will succeed in defeating the coronavirus.
When the two companies merge, we will no longer use the FCA acronym, but Stellantis. Where does the name come from? The word Stella is the Latin root of the word star and is said to mean "to shine with the stars". The reference to the alignment of the stars is meant to be a nod to the historic car brands that will become one as of next year. If there's a link to an existing brand, Chrysler's logo takes the form of a star.
According to FCA, the astronomical connection evoked by the name is meant to capture the ideals of optimism, energy and renewal associated with that field of study. May those qualities rub off on the new merged company, is clearly the hope.
We can see the thinking behind the choice of the name, but the reality is it sounds like anything but a car brand. Maybe time will change that...
In the meantime, however, we will not be writing the name in all capital letters as the joint statement released by the two automotive groups suggests. As a rule these are used when a name is an acronym, such as the word LASER, for example. It will be Stellantis, as it is Mini, Infiniti, etc.
In the future, the name will only be used at the top of the hierarchy, i.e. to identify the group; don’t expect to see any Stellantis-branded models, for example. We can all feel relieved about that. At some point before the official merger a logo will follow and will become the symbol of the new company. For the rest, the existing brands will remain and keep their names and personal identities.
For those interested, here are the names that Chrysler has used over the past century. From this we can see that most of the changes have occurred in the last 20 years.
Chrysler Corporation (1925-1998)
Chrysler LLC (2007-2009)
Chrysler Group (2009-2014)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (2014-2021)