French automaker PSA Peugeot and Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have agreed to merge assets after voting on a deal to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automobile company.

The merger was finally sealed on Monday  (January 4) after a majority vote by Peugeot’s top shareholders and investors with voting rights that include the Peugeot family and China’s Dongfeng Motors, Reuters reported.

The $38 Billion dollar merger which took around two years to finalize was sealed after an extraordinary meeting attended by shareholders of the companies.

Stellantis will be producing over 8.7 million cars a year as a result of the merger just behind brands like Toyota, Volkswagen, and Renault-Nissan.

The deal, which took close to two years of negotiation, will bring together 15 European and American brands like Peugeot, Opel, Citroen, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, RAM, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo, among other car brands under these companies.

The deal also got antitrust approval from the European Union last December as PSA will extend its small van agreement with Toyota Motors by increasing capacity for the Japanese rival and cutting transfer prices for the vehicles, spare parts, and accessories to address EU competition concerns.

“We can approve the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot SA because their commitments will facilitate entry and expansion in the market for small commercial vans,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“Access to a competitive market for small commercial vans is important for many self-employed and small and medium companies throughout Europe,” Vestager said.

While the automaker’s merger is categorized as those of equals, Peugeot seems to be at an advantage as its top executive Carlos Tavares will be running Stellantis starting January as CEO and will hold the tie-breaking role in the board.

John Elkann, an heir to the Agnelli family that founded Fiat, and the current Fiat Chrysler Chairman will be Stellantis’ Chairman while current Fiat CEO Mike Manley will be handling North American operations.

Tavares will be up for a challenge especially in China as a growing electronic vehicle market has kept their sales lagging in the new market.

With Tavares’s leadership, it is expected that restructuring is going to happen within the two carmakers.

PSA has earlier set a goal of having all-electric or hybrid powertrains on its entire model range by 2025, while Fiat Chrysler has committed to electrifying 30 of its models by 2022.

In all-caps, STELLANTIS comes from the Latin word ‘stello’ which means ‘to brighten with stars.’ The newly-formed company according to a company statement aims to draw inspiration from this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility while at the same time preserving all the exceptional value and the values of its constituent parts.

FCA and Peugeot announced their intention to merge in late 2019 after FCA and Renault-Nissan abandoned a tie-up with scandal-ridden former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.

As a result of the board decision, shares of Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler rose 1.8% at the start of regular trading Monday making a positive move for their combined market value of $54 billion.

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JM Agreda is a freelance journalist for more than 12 years writing for numerous international publications, research journals, and news websites. He mainly covers business, tech, transportation, and political news for Businessner.