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

BERLIN, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The leaders of three German states the place Opel has factories wrote to the chief govt of the carmaker’s proprietor Stellantis (STLA.MI) on Thursday, criticising his lack of communication on plans for Opel which they stated was eroding public belief within the firm.

Stellantis disclosed to the press late final month that Opel’s Eisenach plant would shut for at the very least three months as a consequence of ongoing world chip shortages. learn extra

Last week, Stellantis confirmed that it was contemplating splitting off each the Eisenach plant and Opel’s largest plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany into separate authorized entities, after newspaper Handelsblatt reported discussions have been underway. learn extra

The governments of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, and Thuringia, the states the place Opel’s three German vegetation are positioned, weren’t informed about both resolution forward of the data being made public, the state premiers stated of their letter to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, seen by Reuters.

“You yourself, Mr Tavares, at the former PSA Group had ensured open and honest communication with representatives of states with Opel locations about your plans for Opel Germany,” the letter from Malu Dreyer, Volker Bouffier and Bodo Ramelow, dated Oct. 14, stated.

“We are turning to you with this letter out of concern, before the trust is lost through further unexpected news from Stellantis’ side.”

France’s PSA Group acquired Opel in 2017 and applied deep cuts which led the corporate to show a revenue for the primary time in practically 20 years inside a yr. PSA merged with Fiat Chrysler earlier this yr to type Stellantis, now the world’s fourth-largest carmaker.

Stellantis’ CEO Tavares has made clear the necessity to streamline Stellantis’ 14 manufacturers and ease a worldwide overcapacity drawback, however he has beforehand promised that his endeavours to show round Opel wouldn’t contain manufacturing facility closures.

However, final week union officers stated they feared the corporate would renege on this promise in gentle of the chip scarcity, which Tavares has beforehand stated he expects will final nicely into mid-2022.

The German state premiers requested Tavares to set a date for a video name with them to debate Stellantis’ plans.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Susan Fenton

The Opel headquarters in Ruesselsheim, Germany, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski