Is Peugeot-Fiat Merger Good For British Motor Industry?

Thu 12th Dec 2019

With the £38bn mega-merger between Peugeot and Fiat announced this week there were instantly worries over the future over two of the UK’s biggest car plants.

The coming together of the French and Italian brands instantly effects those working at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton plants, where in the region of 5,600 staff are employed. Vauxhall are under the ownership of Peugeot and following the merger now become a part of one of the biggest car companies in the world.

Brexit concerns have already cast a cloud over the future of the Ellesmere Port plant, with bosses suggesting that they will await the outcome of Brexit trade talks before deciding whether to move production out of the UK, possibly to Southern Europe.

Bosses at the brands have moved quickly to suggest that there will be no job losses due to the merger with Mike Manley, chief executive at Fiat Chrysler, saying: "This is a union of two companies with incredible brands and a skilled and dedicated workforce.

"Both have faced the toughest of times and have emerged as agile, smart, formidable competitors."

But union leaders at Unite are seeking ‘watertight guarantees’ on the long-term future of employees with Des Quinn, national officer at Unite, saying: "It is essential that such a meeting happens as soon as possible, to alleviate the natural and legitimate concerns of the workforce."

The combined company will be the world’s third largest by revenue and four largest by number of cars sold with brands such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, DS, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall all sitting under its umbrella. It’s not yet been revealed what the new company will be called.