Stellantis CEO says merger is a 'shield' against job cuts, will save $6 billion

Stock up over 3 percent in first day trading on NYSE

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said on the automaker’s first day of trading on the NYSE that the combination of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Groupe would act as a shield against cuts among its global workforce of 400,000.

“Our commitment on this merger is that we will not shut down plants as a consequence of the merger,’’ Tavares said, pointing to the success PSA Peugeot had turning around General Motors’ money-losing Opel and Vauxhall brands after purchasing them in 2017.

Tavares said Stellantis’ mantra is “great rather than big,” and that he expects it to realize $6 billion in savings and $30 billion in added value as a result of the tie-up, which has created the world’s fourth-largest automaker.

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Much of that will be achieved through shared product and purchasing costs across its 14 brands, which will facilitate the expansion of several of them with new models.

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Tavares said that, unlike French rival Renault, there are no plans for the Peugeot brand to renter the U.S. market, where it will continue to focus on leveraging the strength of existing nameplates like Jeep and Ram.

Tavares noted autonomy and electrification as headwinds and said building affordable battery-powered cars will only be possible with government policies aimed at supporting the transition.

Stellantis currently has 29 electrified hybrid and electric vehicles and will add 10 more by the end of 2021. Tavares said that starting in 2025, every Stellantis model will be available in at least one electrified version.

The stock closed in New York up 3.11%.