Meloni government

Stellantis-Government clash: what happens? Towards state participation

Tension is still high between Stellantis and the Meloni Government after the fiery back and forth between the CEO of the Tavares automotive group and the Prime Minister.
The stakes of the clash are of enormous importance for the industrial and economic future of our country.
At stake are the national development of the automotive sector, thousands of jobs in Italian factories and the transition strategy towards electric vehicles.
The harsh criticisms of the Government in office against the corporate policy of Stellantis, mainly voiced by Giorgia Meloni, have focused on the fact that the group born in 2021 from the FCA-PSA merger has established the predominance of France in corporate participation, to the detriment of Italian interests.
The issue therefore started a heated debate on the opportunity, feared by the Minister of Business and Made in Italy Urso himself, of an Italian entry into the shareholding structure of Stellantis.
Tavares also raised the issue of lack of state incentives in the sector, putting Italian workers at risk.
The Stellantis-Meloni Government clash probably opens a new chapter in the complex history between Fiat (and what remains of it today), the role of the State and the protection of automotive workers.
In some key points, below is a summary to understand what happens in the Tavares-Meloni dispute.
Tavares-Meloni Government, it's a clash: what happens? In the question time in the Chamber on January 24th, pressed by a question from MP Richetti, group leader of Azione-Per-Renew Europe, on the corporate strategy of Stellantis Giorgia Meloni underlined unequivocally what she really thinks of the group created by the FCA-PSA merger .
While recognizing the industrial value that Fiat has always had – and the brands connected to it – in terms of wealth produced, employment and economic assets generated in Italy, the Prime Minister did not avoid criticism of the nascent automotive group.
The harshest passage of his speech was the following: "We need to have the courage to criticize some choices made by the company management…
distant from Italian interests…
I'm thinking of the move of the tax headquarters outside national borders, the presumed merger between FCA-PSA which in reality concealed a French acquisition of the historic Italian group, so much so that today a representative of the French government sits on the Stellantis board of directors and it is no coincidence that the industrial choices of the group take French requests into consideration much more than the Italian ones".
The consequences of such an orientation are evident according to Giorgia Meloni: in France more is produced than in Italy, where we went from over 1 million cars produced in 2017 to less than 700 thousand in 2022.
And the Government's objective is precisely to support national production in the sector so that we return to 1 million vehicles produced in national plants.
CEO Tavares' response was not long in coming and the CEO told Bloomberg that Italy should do more to protect jobs in the automotive sector instead of looking for scapegoats and attacking the owner of Stellantis.
“All this is a scapegoat, trying to avoid taking responsibility for the fact that if subsidies are not given for the purchase of electric vehicles, the market for Italian systems is put at risk,” underlined Tavares.
Minister Urso responded to the criticism directed at the Government, accused of not wanting to encourage the Italian electric car sector.
In addition to the presentation of a car incentive plan, the minister opened a crucial question: "If Tavares or others believe that Italy should do as France, which recently increased its share capital within the Stellantis shareholding, they ask us,” he declared.
Pressured also by the opposition, the Government could therefore seriously think about a state participation in Stellantis.
On this, Tavares did not comment.
At the moment.
It should be noted that the climate had already become tense a few weeks earlier, when news began to circulate of an alleged letter from Stellantis to its Italian suppliers reporting investment opportunities in Morocco.
The delocalization of production remains a hot topic and strongly connected to the Italian industrial future.
Stellantis, who are the shareholders today? The topic of a potential entry of the State into Stellantis is animating the political debate.
“The hypothesis of an Italian participation in Stellantis that balances the French one should be taken seriously”, is the invitation from the government opposition.
As recalled by Il Corriere della Sera, the issue of Italy's entry into the group is not new.
In 2022, in fact, Copasir led by the current minister Urso, had suggested to the Draghi Government to take into consideration the possibility that Cassa Depositi e Prestiti entered the company's capital to balance the position of the two Governments – Italian and French – in the shareholding.
To clarify who the current shareholders of the automotive group are and what weight they have, we remind you that the main share belongs to Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, which has a 14.2% stake.
Then there is Peugeot, the second shareholder with 7.1% and the third is the French government, through Bpi, with 6.1%.
Three years after owning the shares, the three shareholders obtained an increase in their voting rights at the meeting with these updated percentages: Exor 23.13%, Peugeot 11.1% and Bpi 9.6%.
The French state, in short, has a share of 9.6% and the transalpine country, adding Peugeot's participation, reaches a weight of 20.7%.
As regards the group's roles, John Elkann is the president and CEO of Exor.
Robert Peugeot, representing PSA, holds the position of vice president.
Carlos Tavares is the group's CEO.
read also How much does Carlos Tavares earn? Salary and biography of the Stellantis CEO Stellantis-Meloni Government clash over electric cars and jobs Tavares' words on the possibility that workers are threatened by the Meloni Government's non-existent electrification policy agitates unions and workers.
The CEO cited the Mirafiori plants, where the company produces the electric Fiat 500, and its Pomigliano factory, near Naples, as sites where workers are most at risk.
“We ask the Prime Minister for an urgent meeting with the CEO and the trade unions to guarantee production and employment in our country,” warned the Fiom-Cgil general secretary, Michele De Palma.
The focus is shifting to the Italian strategy to encourage the increasingly electric-oriented sector in Europe.
Subsidies are essential to support demand and therefore production in Italy, particularly for electric vehicles, insists Tavares.
Stellantis is also calling for a reduction in energy bills and the postponement or cancellation of the draft new Euro 7 emissions standards.
“Italy is spending much less money than any other major European country to support electric vehicles,” Tavares said , adding that the approach is costing Italy in terms of lost production.
Minister Urso made it known that the Government has presented the new car incentive plan – aimed at the general car fleet, not strictly electric as Stellantis would claim – and that on Euro 7 Italy is committed to the direction supported by Tavares.
The Government, however, also underlined that in recent years Stellantis has benefited from 40% of the incentives even if half of these supported models produced abroad and imported into Italy.
“It can't continue like this.
I said it clearly,” warned Urso.
To then continue: “If there is no reversal of trend, which reduces the delta between production and registration in Italy, from next year all the resources of the Automotive Fund will no longer go towards encouraging consumption but production.
Therefore to those who produce or intend to produce more in our country.
For example, a second car manufacturer." The Stellantis-Meloni Government clash reflects the context of complex transition that the auto sector is experiencing.
On the one hand there is the push towards green desired by Europe and embraced by Stellantis' production plans, on the other there are countries, such as Italy, which are struggling with the change and prefer diesel for a more gradual transition to electric.
In the middle of this story are the workers and the Italian industrial future.
read also Stop polluting cars from 2035: why Italy is wrong to say no How many Stellantis factories are there in Italy? The production of Stellantis vehicles in Italy is currently active in 6 factories: Mirafiori Carrozzerie: here the electric 500 and the Maserati Levante, Ghibli, Quattroporte, Granturismo and Gran Cabrio are produced with the new full-electric Folgore versions; Maserati Modena: the Maserati MC20 and the Cielo cabrio version are produced here; Pomigliano: Fiat Panda, Alfa Romeo Tonale and Dodge Hornet SUVs are produced here; Melfi: Fiat 500X, Jeep Compass and Renegade are produced here.
5 electric models expected from 2024.
Atessa: Fiat Ducato, Opel Movano, Citroen Jumper, Peugeot Boxer are produced here.
Electric vehicles are planned for Toyota; Cassino: vehicles of premium and luxury brands are produced here, such as Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
Furthermore, the Stellantis group operates in Italy with the Mechanical factories of Mirafiori and Verrone to produce gearboxes and the plants in Pratola Serra (Avellino) and Termoli (Campobasso) for diesel engines.
Industrial marine engines are produced in Cento (Ferrara).
According to data reported by Fim Cisl, in 2023 the group's Italian production recorded a +9.6% with total production, including cars and commercial vehicles, of 751,384 units compared to 685,753 in 2022.
Overall, Stellantis workers in Italy is 43,000.

Author: A.W.M.

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