In the merger between Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, there seems to be a big absentee. Of course, we have seen the “apparatchiks”, the main leaders of the two groups. They showed them to us in photos in newspapers, on TV.
We saw John Elkann, head of the Agnelli family, founder of Fiat. No problem for him, he will be the president of the new group. There is also Carlos Tavares; Chairman of the PSA Management Board, he will be the CEO of the new entity, the real operational manager. The two men shared the powers. In the photos, dressed in black, they shake hands with their right hands while with their left they hold the document specifying the terms of the mega-merger between Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The new entity, called Stellantis, will be 50-50 owned by the two groups. Our two caciques have obtained the agreement of the owners of the two groups, in particular the Peugeot family, the French State and the Chinese Dongfeng. At Fiat, the approval of the general meeting of shareholders was made all the easier as they were promised an exceptional dividend of 5.5 billion euros. The new group, the 4th in the global brotherhood of automobile manufacturers, will accumulate a turnover of 167 billion euros generated by 14 car brands. In short, a small group of top managers and capitalists, and shareholders baited by possible gains, said yes to this marriage.
All these beautiful people are happy, happy with themselves, happy with the progress of the world. It seems, however, that there is in the matter a great “forgotten”. Who is designing and building the 8 million vehicles that Stellantis will sell around the world? They are 409,000 employees of the two groups spread over a large number of countries, in Europe, Africa, the United States and China. No one asked them for their opinion, as if they didn’t exist. Yet who risks suffering the hunt for “duplicates”, the elimination of overcapacity, who will pay to overcome Fiat’s serious difficulties? Certainly not the two new directors, and probably not the mass of shareholders.
This situation illustrates what the Achilles heel of capitalism is at the start of the new century: it invests, accumulates, moves, monopolizes but without taking care of people. Democracy, the idea that workers can give their opinion and have power is foreign to it. Besides, where will the headquarters of the new group be located? In a European tax haven, in the Netherlands. Hello transparency!