PARS — Stellantis N.V., the owner of the Chrysler, Dodge, Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Jeep and Fiat auto brands, will acquire an equal one-third stake in Symbio, the hydrogen fuel cell joint venture now owned by tire maker Group Michelin and plastics auto supplier Faurecia Group, the three companies said.
Faurecia said it would receive $163 million from Stellantis in the deal, an amount that would be part of a planned 1 billion euro asset disbursement program.
PSA Group formerly was the majority shareholder in Faurecia before liquidating its stake when it merged with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis in 2021.
Michelin did not say if it was also receiving money from Stellantis. A Stellantis spokesman told Automotive News Europe that the company was not disclosing financial details of the deal.
The three groups entered exclusive talks about the potential deal in December 2022.
Stellantis launched hydrogen-powered mid-size vans from Citroen, Opel/Vauxhall and Peugeot in 2021 and aims to expand its hydrogen offer to large vans in Europe in 2024 and in the U.S. in 2025, and potentially heavy-duty trucks. The European vans are built at Opel’s home factory in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
Faurecia's Auburn Hills, Mich.-based North American business unit is a major injection molder and supplier of interior and exterior parts, It and its parent company, Forvia, have been investing in fuel cell technology, including capabilities in making composite tanks for hydrogen fuel and the cells themselves.
Michelin and Faurecia agreed in early 2019 to form the Symbio joint venture that will develop, produce and market hydrogen fuel-cell systems for light vehicles, utility vehicles, trucks and other applications.
Faurecia and Michelin said at that time they were convinced of the importance of hydrogen technology in the emerging field of zero-emissions mobility and of the need to create a strong European hydrogen industrial sector.
“The entry of Stellantis into the capital of Symbio is a tremendous development driver for our joint subsidiary,” Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux said.
“It is also a perfect demonstration that fuel-cell technology is essential for the automotive industry to succeed in the electrification of mobility, particularly for professional use. Stellantis is already a partner of choice and will be a key player with us in the future.
"Finally, this transaction reinforces the conviction that Michelin has held for many years: hydrogen will be one of the unavoidable solutions for decarbonization.”