The President of Stellantis, John Elkann, has categorically denied any plans to merge with other car manufacturers, particularly with the rival Renault. Elkann stated in a statement on Monday that there were “no plans under consideration regarding merger operations with other car manufacturers.”
Stellantis, committed to a plan to achieve common goals related to the transition to electric vehicles, has brought together the Italian government and industry players. This statement comes in response to speculation from the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero about a merger project between Renault and Stellantis, fueled by the interest of the French government, Renault’s main shareholder.
While Renault’s shares initially increased by over 4% due to these speculations, they later reduced their gains to 1% after Elkann’s comments. Stock market analysts highlight obvious antitrust obstacles and potential social issues due to duplication of facilities in France in the case of such a merger.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, has recently fueled the debate by discussing factors that strengthen the potential for a merger, including the rise of Chinese manufacturers, the European Union’s efforts to eliminate combustion engines, and the high costs of new contracts with the UAW.
Tavares has predicted consolidation in the automotive industry, warning of a possible “bloodbath” in the race for affordable electric vehicles. He has highlighted Renault’s perceived vulnerability but has not ruled out interest in other manufacturers in the future.
In response to criticism from the Italian government, Tavares mentioned that Italy should instead protect jobs in the automotive sector. Italian Minister of Industry, Adolfo Urso, even mentioned the possibility of government participation in Stellantis to counter French influence.
With information from Automotive News.