Stellantis’ silence on Opel plans erodes trust, German states say

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BERLIN, October 14 (Businesshala) – The leaders of the three German states, where Opel has factories, wrote on Thursday to the chief executive of the carmaker’s owner Stellantis (STLA.MI), criticizing the lack of communication on Opel’s plans Said they were being destroyed. Public confidence in the company.

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Stelantis told the press late last month that Opel’s Eisenach plant would close for at least three months due to global chip shortages.

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Last week, Stelantis confirmed it was considering splitting both the Eisenach plant and Opel’s largest plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany, into separate legal entities, after discussions were underway, reports the newspaper Handelsblatt.

The governments of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Thuringia, the states where Opel’s three German plants are located, were not informed of any decisions before they were made public, the state premiers said in their letter to Stelantis CEO Carlos Tavares. Said, seen by Businesshala.

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“You yourself, Mr. Tavares, ensured open and honest communication in the former PSA group with the representatives of the states with Opel locations regarding their plans for Opel Germany,” letter from Malu Dreyer, Volker Bouffier and Bodo Ramello, dated 14 October said.

“We are turning to you with this letter, before trust is lost through further unexpected news from Stelantis.”

France’s PSA Group acquired Opel in 2017 and implemented deep cuts that saw the company turn a profit within a year for the first time in nearly two decades. Earlier this year, PSA merged with Fiat Chrysler to form Stelantis, now the world’s fourth-largest carmaker.

Stelantis CEO Tavares has made clear the need to streamline Stelantis’ 14 brands and reduce the problem of global overcapacity, but has previously promised that his efforts to turn Opel around will include closing the factory. Will not done.

However, union officials last week said they fear the company will back down on that promise in light of chip shortages, which Tavares previously said he expects will last well into mid-2022.

The German state prime ministers asked Tavares to set a date for a video call with him to discuss Stelantis’ plans.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Susan Fenton

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