On both sides of the Alps, the prospect of a PSA-Fiat Chrysler wedding does not raise any outcry. The proof no doubt that, in this sector, greedy investments to face the challenges of mobility (connected, electrified, autonomous), everyone seems convinced that size is a guarantee of survival.
At the announcement of the operation, the French and Italian executives adopted a sober and cautious tone, obviously anxious not to mortgage the deal. "We follow the latest Fiat Chrysler developments with a lot of openness", commented Wednesday, October 30 the spokesman of the French government, Sibeth Ndiaye. The French State holds 12% of PSA through the public bank BPI. Italian Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli said that Italy, which has no stake in Fiat Chrysler (FCA), will closely follow the evolution of the talks while saying it does not wish to comment. more one "Market operation".
In both countries, the main concern is employment. In Italy, Fiat Chrysler employs 58,000 people in factories with chronic overcapacity. "It is vital to preserve the sites" FCA in Italy, stressed the Deputy Minister of Economy, Antonio Misiani, Wednesday, at a forum of the Italian agency specialized on economic and financial issues, RadioCor, after the announcement of negotiations between the two groups . PSA employs in its automotive division (excluding the equipment manufacturer Faurecia) 117,000 employees worldwide, including 53,000 in France. In France, PSA has 5 car production plants and 12 production sites for components and foundries. In the joint statement released Thursday, October 31, the two groups want reassurance, saying that the expected synergies of this merger "Are not based on factory closures".
"Positive industrial dynamics"
On the union side, the first reactions in Italy were rather encouraging, despite fears about the social cost of the operation. "There could be" overlays ", but a good industrial plan can overcome these difficulties while guaranteeing employment in Italy", wants to believe Marco Bentivogli, leader of the metallurgy branch of the FIM-CISL trade union.
The tone is almost identical in France on the FO side. The first PSA union intends, of course, to show itself "Particularly vigilant about the social impact" but none the less highlights "Positive industrial dynamics" a project "Industrially attractive". With the conviction that he is "Preferable to produce 9 million vehicles rather than 4, given the profound changes in the sector, including the consequences of the energy transition". Patrick Michel, FO secretary of the PSA consortium committee, sees "A lot of benefits" at a PSA-Fiat Chrysler "Access to the US market". And "For Fiat, the interest is to access a technology that will allow it to meet future standards for CO2 ".
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