Following overwhelming support from shareholders this morning, FCA and PSA will officially merge into Stellantis NV as of January 16. The combination of the two industrial giants will create the fourth largest automaker in the world, and bring with it massive changes to the industry. And while this decision has been heralded on Wall Street, it may bring some unwanted changes to the lives of the two companies’ combined workforce. According to a report from AP, the merger may bring on a wave of job cuts on both sides of the Atlantic.
The potential for job losses have long been discussed surrounding the merger of PSA and FCA. The two companies currently compete with one another in markets outside of the United States, and must slim down their product lines to maximize profits. Carlos Tavares is slated to helm Stellantis NV when the merger is complete, and he isn’t known for accepting waste. In fact, his entire reputation in the industry is centered around his frugality as an executive. The companies have already begun consolidation talks, in order to slim down the investment into separate platforms and powertrains.
According to AP, Stellantis NV will be leaning on PSA’s current lineup of fuel-efficient engines and platforms moving forward, reducing the need for engineers in places like Michigan, Italy and Germany where FCA currently operates. Furthermore, FCA is behind PSA in terms of EV development, who plans to offer an electrified lineup by 2025. By leaning on PSA’s engineers, the brand will save billions of dollars moving forwards. This also certainly spells the closure of some of FCA’s European production facilities, where the brand continues to lose money. Fiat is the largest private sector employer in Italy, creating some serious concern from union employees working in the country.
While much of the impact appears to take place across the Atlantic, American auto workers may not be entirely spared. Tavares’ temperament has already led many to believe that Chrysler won’t stick around much longer as a brand. Fiat-Chrysler doesn’t like to entertain these talks, but Chrysler’s lackluster sales sheet may have already decided the brands fate, despite attractive offerings like the 300 sedan and Pacifica minivan. No official decision about the future of any brands has been made at this time however.
So then as FCA and PSA transform into Stellantis NV, the auto industry may take a new shape as well. With PSA technology and platforms slated to take center stage, future products may start to look rather different. That said, the company doesn’t want to mess with the success of the Dodge, Ram and Jeep brands Stateside. At least the French know that when it comes to off-roaders and muscle cars, it is always best to just let the Americans take over.