MILAN (AP) – The CEO of Stellantis, the carmaker created from the merger of PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, said Tuesday that the tie-up will help preserve jobs, factories and the 14 storied brands as billions in annual savings are achieved.
Carlos Tavares told a virtual press conference just days after Stellantis’s official birth as a new company that jobs only accounted for 10% of manufacturing costs – and that he had many other levers to improve profitability. The company aims to save 5 billion euros ($6 billion) a year thanks to the merger.
“Our commitment on this merger is that we will not shut down plants as a consequence of the merger,’’ Tavares said. He cited PSA Peugeot’s takeover from GM of the Opel and Vauxhall brands as a model of a successful turnaround strategy.
He said the current brands – which range from Jeep SUVs to Alfa Romeo sportscars and luxury Maserati sedans – “represent a strong asset to the company.”
He said there was work to do on clarifying the brand identity, in some cases. And that the manufacturing synergies would be achieved through a system of “sister cars,” unique models that share some combination of platforms and components.
He claimed that fears for job losses, including in Italy, where factories were under-utilized even before the pandemic, were unfounded.
“This merger is acting as a shield to protect the activity on the plants, rather than representing a risk for the people who may be anxious about the creation of this new entity,” he said. The merger would produce greater sales, higher efficiencies and allow the launch of new models because of lower costs due to shared technology, he said.
Tavares announced that Stellantis would launch 10 new models with electrified engines in 2021, adding to the 29 already available. And that all new models introduced through 2025 would have an electrified powertrain. A strategy plan is upcoming, he said.
The PSA Group merger with Fiat Chrysler was completed on Saturday, creating the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer. It is based financially in the Netherlands, with a global workforce of 400,000. The new company launched on the Paris, Milan and New York stock exchanges this week.
Krisher reported from Detroit.
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