Fiat: We'll Keep Opel Plants, But Cut Staff

Fiat is getting closer and closer to their second objective in this spring offensive. After the Chrysler deal came through, we will find out sometimes in the following days whether Opel will become an Italian affair as well. But, as often is the case, the problem is not the takeover itself, but the manner in which Opel as a business will be affected by the move.

In an attempt to reassure the concerned German unions, Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne, stepped in yesterday and said no plant in Germany is to be closed (before the Opel deal became a reality, Fiat said it had no interest in the German manufacturer as well...).

"We don't want to close any of the four Opel factories in Germany. I will need the plants in the future to build enough cars," Marchionne told German newspaper Bild. This doesn't mean the people themselves won't be affected.

"But of course staff levels have to fall. No one will be able to change that. The plants have to become more efficient." Fiat is not yet certain how many people will have to go.

Marchionne plans to merge the two companies, spin them off and then list them as one, according to Reuters. Germany's finance minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg called the Fiat plan "interesting", but said it needs a closer look.

But why Opel? According to Nomura International analyst Michael Tyndall, "industrial logic-wise, Opel makes a lot more sense than Chrysler; the big hurdle we can see is social cost."

The other bidder for Opel, Magna, seems to have been outclassed by the Italians, as their possible participation in the Opel deal is no longer the forerunner.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories