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Stellantis changes little, brings opportunity in Canadian FCA operations

Greg Layson, Automotive News Canada
January 20, 2021

Little appears likely to change at former FCA operations in Canada now that the company has merged with PSA to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker.

In fact, FCA Canada continues to exist, for now.

The name change to Stellantis has occurred at the FCA N.V. level only and this entity is now known as Stellantis N.V.,” said FCA Canada spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin. “It is too early in the process for the naming of each country. We will make an announcement in due time.

“Stellantis in North America will continue offering its current portfolio of exciting products and … Our plants and other facilities continue operating without interruption.”

Unifor, the union representing about 8,000 hourly workers at three Stellantis plants in Ontario, approves of the deal.

“Unifor has no specific concerns at this time as the union has already secured key investment commitments from FCA/Stellantis,” Unifor said in a statement to Automotive News Canada. “The union notes that FCA’s North American product line-up complements PSA with very little overlap.

“Our members in Brampton will continue serving the North American muscle car market and will play a unique role in the new company producing high-demand performance cars not produced anywhere else. The new multi-energy hybrid/BEV platform slated for Windsor will position our members there as a key driver in Stellantis’ EV growth strategy.”

Flavio Volpe, head of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, expects Stellantis to make job cuts, but not necessarily in Canada.

“When you have mergers like this, obviously the leadership is looking for synergies. Some of the process is retraction, and I don’t see that happening in Canada,” he said.

He also said FCA — and rising North American emissions standards — could benefit from the merger. He said FCA has “struggled” with developing an electric platform and more fuel efficient vehicles.

“PSA is a leader in tailpipe emissions, especially in Europe. That bodes well for the next version of the [Chrysler] minivan,” he said. “We’re going need to see much more efficient ICE platforms.”

Volpe believes Brampton Assembly Plant, which makes the Chrysler 300 sedan and Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle cars, could be the big winner. He thinks that given the available capacity in Brampton, where the factory runs on just two shifts building niche, though profitable cars, Stellantis could add production of PSA’s DS premium electric brand.

Read the full article here.