The semi-conductor crisis does worse than the pandemic. Horrible year 2021 for Italy and the auto industry. The year of the merger between FCA and PSA under the umbrella of Stellantis, a French-led consolidation that raises concerns about the stability of the entire automotive supply chain in the coming years when the new electric mobility needs to be built.
If everything is electrified in 2035, the Commission’s intention EU to comply with environmental objectives, from now to that date it is necessary to completely rethink the industrial policy aimed at the main manufacturing sector in the country. Ferdinando Uliano, automotive manager of the CISL metalworkers, not known for being a barricadero. Historically, it has a constructive approach, not very ideological, if anything attentive to the volumes of the former FCA Italian plants and to the occupational stability of the workers. And so it must be taken into consideration when it raises the alarm on what is happening in our country in the silence of politics.
It clearly says that Stellantis in 2021, net of Mirafiori taking advantage of the new volumes of the electric 500, is worse than last year. The semiconductor crisis has forced the company to heavy production stops in all Italian plants and the high bill for both workers, who see the paycheck cut, both for the state and forced to take over with social safety nets. Much, almost everything, should not be attributed to the company even if it is always difficult to distinguish where the shortage effect of the fundamental microchips for car control units begins and where the cost reduction (and the necessary synergies) that the CEO of Stellantis Carlos begins Tavares is finalizing pending disclosure of the business plan. Not even the confederates are unanimous in reading the attributions of responsibility, but the numbers are numbers and it is difficult not to come to terms with the facts.
The really difficult situation in the last quarter out of about 50 potential days of work (65 working days – about 15 vacation days), only Polo Torinese and Maserati Modena have not been stopped – says Uliano -. For the other plants, shifts and working days are reduced by using the layoffs: Cassino —38%, Pomigliano – 70%, Melfi —54%. Sevel, too, which went unscathed in the first half of the year, found itself with a 28% reduction in working days in the quarter. The greatest concern caused by the fact that the blockade concentrated heavily in September and the forecasts are that the situation will drag on throughout the first half of 2022. The situation in Melfi is emblematic, which for September and October will work seven days every month. Given the situation, it is certain that 712,000 vehicles will not even reach the year of the pandemic and the lockdown.
Globally it is estimated that the backlash of the shortage of semiconductors on world volumes impact with less than 10 million vehicles. And therefore even the Italian sites cannot be exempt. For Michele De Palma, automotive manager of Fiom Cgil, he invites the government to think quickly about what is happening. A meeting is scheduled for Monday 11 October at the Ministry of Economic Development led by Giancarlo Giorgetti and to take stock of the merger, the supply chain, the effects of electricity, including the internal combustion engine supply chain that impacts the Cento and Pratola Serra plants. Because the overall volumes are retreating, the plants largely live on social safety nets and someone should take care of them given that the 6.3 billion loan disbursed to FCA Italy in 2020 with the state guarantee of Sace at 80%.
De Palma says that the workers are unmotivated and confused: The organization of the minimum production changes from evening to morning, some temporary workers have also gone home. A few months ago, 100 Mopar workers, 300 out of 500 in Sevel, which increased to 15 shifts from the previous 18. There is a different setting of production capacity compared to the commercial vehicle market which is booming. part of the production in Poland was reallocated for a lower industrial cost, but the choice made the confederates raise because Sevel could produce more, net of the shortage of microprocessors.
Uliano adds to the perspectives of St.tangle: After the start of the Maserati MC20 production in Modena in March 2021, the Grecale SUV will be launched in the Cassino plant and the Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV (also in the two hybrid versions) in Pomigliano d’Arco and the two Maserati GT and GC in Mirafiori. We are concerned about two kinds of problems: when sales and revenues drop, investments may shift; the second order of problems related to the semiconductor problem and the commercial launch of new cars. Expectations on new products cannot be excessive. Time slips on launches risk further hitting employment and wages, for this reason that the top management of Stellantis must provide guarantees and explain the difficulties we may have in the coming months.