PSA's Carlos Tavares (left) and FCA's Mike Manley. Photo: Courtesy of FCA

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is merging with France's PSA Group to create the world's fourth-largest automaker, a deal intended to help both companies bear the cost of new technologies like electric and self-driving cars.

The big picture: The merger also gives Peugeot's parent a long-desired entry into the U.S. and will help FCA catch up in fuel-efficient powertrains. "It is better to face the challenges of the future together than on a standalone basis," PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said during an investor call, CNBC reported.

Yes, but: The merged company will have some glaring problems.

  • It will still be overly reliant on the European market, where sales are sluggish and tightening regulations make it more difficult for all players to do business there.
  • And both companies are poorly positioned in China, a combined weakness that's only amplified as the world's largest auto market shifts sharply toward electric vehicles and homegrown brands.

The bottom line: Tavares, who will lead the combined entity, is an industry wizard, but pulling this off will likely be the most difficult challenge of his career.

Go deeper: High-tech cars drive auto loans to record highs in the U.S.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1,700 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 3.9 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.