The Latest: CEO hints FCA may not want same contract as GM
MILAN – The Latest on the merger deal between Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot (all times local):
Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley says the three Detroit automakers are in "different conditions" in terms of labor forces, hinting that the company may seek changes to union contract deals reached with his competitors.
The United Auto Workers agreed a tentative contract covering Ford's 55,000 factory workers on Wednesday night, and General Motors' 49,000 workers ratified their deal last week.
Bargaining with Fiat Chrysler is expected to intensify in the coming days as the union tries to finish out talks on new four-year deals.
Fiat Chrysler has more temporary workers and more new hires than either Ford or GM, so the GM contract could cost FCA more money.
Manley says on the company's earnings conference call that he's hoping for a consensus with the union so the company can move on with building great cars.
Italy's premier, Giuseppe Conte, says he would welcome any merger agreement involving Fiat Chrysler and France's PSA Peugeot that improves productivity of Italian plants, guarantees jobs and preserves investments.
Conte said in Rome on Thursday that the government wants to see "the company's continuity here in Italy. ... What is important is to guarantee the level of company jobs and investment here in Italy, that is what we are pushing for."
He said that "as a government, we cannot be indifferent when it comes to such an important industrial project."
Fiat Chrysler is one of Italy's largest private sector employers, with nearly 60,000 workers. The company has pledged to invest 5 billion euros on new engines and models in Italy to make better use of its plants.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has announced a deal to merge with France's PSA Peugeot, has reported a third-quarter loss despite record earnings in North America.
The Italian-American car company on Thursday reported a loss of 179 million euros (nearly $200 million) due to weaker performance in Europe and by its luxury Maserati division. That compares with a net profit of 564 million euros in the same period of 2018.
Revenues were flat at 27 billion euros. In North America, earnings rose by 4% to 2 billion euros despite an 11% drop in volumes.
Fiat Chrysler narrowed losses in Asia to 10 million euros, while losses in Europe nearly doubled to 55 million euros due to lower sales.
Maserati swung to a loss of 51 million euros, with shipments down by nearly half.
The boards of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot have approved merging the two companies to create the world's fourth-largest automaker with a value of about $50 billion.
The formal announcement that the companies have agreed "to work towards a full combination of their respective entities by way of a 50/50 merger" came early Thursday.
The combined companies will be able to share in the cost of developing electric and autonomous vehicles. They'll also share vehicle technology and save money with greater purchasing power.
The merger decision comes about five months after a similar deal with French automaker Renault fell apart.
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