“Stelantis”, from the Latin “stello”, illuminated by stars, is the name chosen by the two car groups “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles” (FCA) and Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) to make the ambitious merger of legendary car companies in a clear and simple way to sum up. with strong corporate cultures joining forces to begin the process of creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility.
“The Latin origin of the name honors the long and important history of the two founding companies, while the evocation of astronomy is reminiscent of the spirit of optimism, energy and innovation that underlies this unification that drives the automotive sector. changes, “reads a joint press release from both automakers.
With more than eight million cars sold, 400,000 employees and earnings of more than 180 billion euros, “Stelantis” becomes the “fourth largest car manufacturer in the world after” Volkswagen “,” Toyota “and the group” Renault – Nissan – Mitsubishi ” .
The headquarters of the new auto colossus are in the Netherlands, led by Carlos Tavares, John Elkan who will serve as president, and Robert Peugeot as vice president.
Mike Manley, who is currently head of the FCA Group, will be in charge of the US market.
On the occasion of the unanimity of John Elkan, the president of the FCA stated that “this is just another courageous step forward on our path”.
The goal of “Stelantis” and the 50/50 division, although the French are in the lead
The goal of “Stelantis” is to unite knowledge and resources to find common solutions for environmentally oriented mobility in the coming decades.
The future of movement and the way of using cars, autonomous movement of cars and the transition to hybrid and electric cars of 14 brands, which are part of two groups, is namely what “Stelantis” will work intensively on.
The unifying brands are very different from each other, such as “Jeep”, “Alfa Romeo”, “Maserati”, “Fiat”, “Peugeot”, “Citroen”, “Opel”, and which do not change their name .
Namely, “Stelantis” is a group with a division 50/50 and the name will only be used at group level, so no car will carry it, and although “Stelantis” has its own logo, it will not in any way affect the names and the existing logo. cars.
The strength of this group is reflected in the fact that it has different types of cars from city cars through premium models, sports cars and SUVs, commercial cars, such as those for transporting people and things.
The group’s main shareholders are “Exor”, supported by the Agnelli family, led by John Elkan, who is the grandson of the famous Gianni Agnelli and who was the main shareholder in the FCA and who will 14.4 percent have Stelantis quota, followed by the Peugeot family. via two companies EPF and FFP with 7.2 percent, BPI (Banque Publique d’Investissement), ie. The investment bank of the French government with 6.2 percent and finally the Chinese car company “Dongfeng”.
In fact, the Chinese market is one of the goals of “Stelantis”.
If we take into account the fact that Carlos Tavares was the president of PSA, and now he will be at the head of the whole group. The Italians, but also the rest of the world, have the impression that the French are still in the lead in this way.
What will happen to the factories?
Although Italian unions have expressed concern that the creation of a new group will lead to changes and possibly the loss of a number of employees in Italy, a statement issued by the Group a few days ago reads, according to media reports, that no factory will be closed .
Namely, the Group guarantees that this unification will not lead to the closure of factories as a result of the establishment of “Stelantis”.
Italian Economy Minister Stefano Patuanelli and French Economy Minister Bruno le Mer issued a joint statement saying that “both governments, both Italian and French, will pay close attention to the role that Stelantis will play in the future. for employment in Italy and France “.
However, Italian trade unions have also expressed concern about the fact that the French government is a 6.2 percent shareholder in Stelantis, while the Italian government has chosen not to be a part of it.
“Although this operation to unite the FCA and PSA is of national importance from an industrial point of view, such as one related to employment,” Deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani told the Daily Republic.
The economist writes that one of the goals of Tavares, which will be at the head of the Group, is to refresh “Fiat”, which is one of the weakest links.
Tavares is highly regarded and is considered one of the best drivers in the global automotive industry, precisely because he can repair brands that do worse than Opel, which was bought by PSA in 2017 when it was in a deep crisis.
Today, after a very short time, “Opel” is again a profitable market, but in that operation, Tavares fired a third of the company’s directors.
The Wall Street Journal pointed to the poor production of FCA factories, many of which are located in Italy, as one of the biggest problems facing ‘Stelantis’.
Again, as we said, both the FCA and PSA guarantee that they would not close factories.
What do the experts say?
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera asked for the opinions of two experts in the automotive industry, Professor Fabian Skiwardi of the University of Louis, where he teaches economics, and Tedoro Li of Automotive & Mobility lead at Accenture Europe.
In the analysis for the daily, both experts agreed that this unification was necessary and inevitable.
“These two companies are not weak, even if we look at them individually. But united, they will know how to best deal with the global challenges they will face in the near future. The value of this operation is reflected in the fact that we will witness large investments .: money, but also the transformation of the work of companies with new talents and their way of doing business “.
Teodoro Lijo adds: “Another positive effect is that in this way Europe and thus Italy will be at the center of the world car scene again, because let us remember that the income of the FCA group came mostly from North America. , while in Europe it was weak and in a short time it would become a problem.
Now the balance is reached and Stelantis becomes a global player, not Italian, American or French. “
Professor Skivardi also answers questions about the future of factories: “It is possible that the group comes to the conclusion that there are too many factories and that is the challenge for the whole country to do everything possible to make Italian factories better and more efficient. to ensure their survival, such as job retention.
But if Italy does not know how to help those who work in factories, it is easy to think that a multinational company whose goal is to have the best possible productive network all those who are not on the job. “
When asked a few months ago by journalists by Carlos Tavares about the question of whether 14 car companies are too many, he replied that each of them has its own history and what makes it special.
However, there has been an epidemic and a major crisis in all sectors, including the automotive sector, and some experts insist that in the future the Group will make investment decisions that will only have to focus on a number of markets, particularly luxury cars. . ,
On the other hand, they also point out that “Fiat” has certain factories that work very poorly.
The activity rate of seven factories in Italy is less than 60 percent, while the factory in Kragujevac is even lower.
The factory that produces 500L results in one of the worst cases.
And although the FCA and PSA guarantee before concluding the unification agreement that no factory would close for Tavaris, it is a big problem.
Even if the reduction in sales would lead to a crisis that could justify difficult decisions, Italy guaranteed a loan of 6.3 billion euros to the FCA, and asked them to guarantee that there would be no redundancies.
Bernard Julien of the University of Bordeaux said: “This is a well done job, but I do not see how Carlos Tavares will succeed in keeping his promises and will not touch any brand or factory.”
Will the factory in Kragujevac survive?
The famous “Fiat 500L”, which will be produced at the “Fiat-Chrysler” factory in Kragujevac, will be out of production by the end of 2021.
Production of this model began in 2012, and sales of this brand worldwide have been declining for some time.
This type of car is something that customers are increasingly looking for, focusing on crossovers and SUVs.
In the United States, this car has not been sold since the end of 2020, and neither has the Fiat 124 Spider.
For now, it is still unknown what will happen to production in Kragujevac, given the prediction that the “Fiat 500L” will stop selling in the rest of the world by the end of 2021.
What has been talked about for a long time is that a new brand is being produced, which will presumably be an SUV, just as the international clients demand.
Oliver Francois, number one for “Fiat”, stated that in the coming years “Fiat 500X” and “500L” will be replaced by one model that is an SUV slightly larger than “Fiat 500X”, but with a design that is more similar to in crossover,
This mysterious model, which is still very little known about, could start production in 2022 under the name Fiat 500XL.
In Kragujevac, 40,000 cars were produced in 2019, 20,000 less than in 2018, while currently only 10% of the capacity of the Serbian factory is used.
The FCA has defined the final stage of the 2018-2022 plan. in which an investment of 45 billion euros is planned, of which nine billion to innovations in the field of electric cars, and 170 euros to a factory in Poland where part of hybrid and electric circuits are produced.
Kragujevac is still a mystery, although there is more and more talk about the SUV to be produced in that factory, but there is still no official information expected this year from “Stelantis” .