The long-awaited incentive plan for the demand for electric cars arrives, but the tone remains heated between Stellantis and the government after the controversies of recent weeks. This time the attack comes from CEO Carlos Tavares: Italy – the manager tells the Bloomberg agency – should do more to protect its jobs in the automotive sector rather than attacking Stellantis for the fact that it produces less in our country. “This is a scapegoat in an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the fact that if we don't give subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles, we put the plants in Italy at risk,” observes Tavares.
The statements take the government by surprise. The reply comes from the Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso. “If Tavares or others believe that Italy should do as France did, which recently increased its share capital within the Stellantis shareholding structure, they should ask us”, says the minister after the automotive roundtable convened to illustrate the new 950 million euro incentive plan. The minister's provocation was because the government had no intention of actually entering the Stellantis shareholding structure, but, on the other hand, the possibility of selling shares was never raised even by Exor (today the Agnelli holding is the main shareholder of the Italian-French company with 14.2%). However, Democratic Party secretary Elly Schlein likes the hypothesis. “Tavares has launched a challenge, the government should take it up and not allow the Stellantis CEO's provocation to fall. The hypothesis of an Italian participation in Stellantis that balances the French one should be taken seriously”. Even the leader of the M5S Giuseppe Conte appreciates it and asks Minister Urso “not to just talk and to negotiate the entry of the State into Stellantis”.
The words of Tavares, who indicates Mirafiori where the electric 500 is produced and Pomigliano as the Italian factories whose jobs are most at risk, worry the unions.
“Public money cannot be given without guarantees: now answers for the country. We ask the Prime Minister for an urgent meeting with the CEO and the trade unions to guarantee production and employment in our country” states the Fiom general secretary. CGIL, Michele De Palma. Even for the general secretary of Uil Campania, Giovanni Sgambati, “Tavares' statements do not reassure the realities of Southern Italy, and especially Pomigliano.
Urso explains that 2024 will be an experimental year for the incentives: they will have to verify their functioning and possibly proceed with their revision. If the objective of increasing car production in our country is not achieved – says the minister – from next year the resources of the automotive fund will no longer be directed to encouraging consumption, but to developing new productive investments in our country, also of production reconversion, and a second car manufacturer in Italy”. The Italian market began 2024 with a positive result: 141,946 cars were registered in January, 10.61% more than the same month in 2023. The entire supply chain is asking that we hurry to make them operational because waiting could create a market block.
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