This is how the chip crisis affects the Stellantis factories

This is how the chip crisis affects the Stellantis factories

What impact has the chip crisis had in the Stellantis factories. The speech by Ferdinando Uliano, national secretary of Fim Cisl on the production of Stellantis in the first 9 months of the year

The production data in the first nine months of 2021 mark a growth of + 14.2% compared to the figure for the previous year. According to the data collected this year, 528,277 units were produced, including cars and commercial vans, compared to 462,404 in 2020.

An increase in volumes compared to 2020 characterized by the production block of the lockdown.

If, on the other hand, we compare the production data to the pre-covid period and therefore to 2019 the situation is negative with – 16.3% (631,200 vehicles): for the first time commercial vehicles are also negative, which has never happened in the last 12 years . The effect is largely attributable to the stop in production caused by the lack of semiconductors. The suffering encountered in the first 6 months of 2021 worsened in the last quarter causing numerous production blocks. In the automotive sector, semiconductors are causing production blocks that are hitting more than the lock-down in 2020. The only plant that does not suffer stops in the last quarter is the Turin production center; in particular the production of the 500e, which cannot stop due to the constraints on Co2, to avoid the very high penalties.

If we analyze the data, the increase of approximately 43,513 vehicles compared to 2020 compensates for the loss of approximately 12,750 vehicles in the Cassino, Pomigliano and Melfi plants. The situation is really serious, in the last quarter of approximately 50 potential working days (65 working days – approximately 15 days of vacation), only Polo Torinese and Maserati Modena have not suffered any stops. For the other plants, shifts and working days are reduced using the Cig: Cassino -38%, Pomigliano – 70%, Melfi -54%. Sevel, too, which went unscathed in the first half of the year, found itself with a 28% reduction in working days in the quarter. The greatest concern is determined by the fact that the block was heavily concentrated in the month of September and the forecasts are that the situation will drag on throughout the first half of 2022. The situation in Melfi is emblematic, which will work 7 days each month for September and October. . Given the situation, it is certain that 712,000 vehicles will not even reach the year of the pandemic and lockdown. Globally, it is estimated that the impact on world volumes will impact less than 10 million cars.

The market situation already suffering from the pandemic situation, with the blocks caused by the shortage of semiconductors is worsening, the positive effects of the latest incentives prepared by the Italian government are also eliminating. The issue of the supply of raw materials, semiconductors and the rapprochement of the labor chain is a geopolitical problem that the government of our country must tackle in a strategic way. Our concerns concern the workers who are heavily affected in terms of income by this situation, to which are added the concerns that risk having a cascade on investments and induced activities.


It is necessary for Stellantis to ensure and guarantee the completion of the 5.5 billion investments envisaged in the FCA industrial plan for period 2019-2021.

After the start of the Maserati MC20 production in Modena in March 2021, the Grecale SUV will be launched in the Cassino plant and the Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV (also in the two hybrid versions) in Pomigliano d'Arco and the two Maserati GT and GC in Mirafiori. We are concerned about two kinds of problems: when sales and revenues drop, investments may shift; the second order of problems is related to the semiconductor problem and the commercial launch of new cars. Expectations on new products cannot be excessive. Time slips on launches risk further hitting employment and wages, which is why the leaders of Stellantis must provide guarantees and explain the difficulties we may have in the coming months. In this situation, we believe that the government cannot passively assist.



The production volumes measured in the first nine months of 2021 amounted to 54,289 units compared to the 10,776 recorded in 2020. The greatest weight of the growth was determined by the production of the 500 bev which, started in October 2020, in the first nine months of 2021 it stood at 38,187 units. We must then consider the total production stoppage in March 2020 caused by the pandemic. In the first nine months of 2021, 78% of the volumes are represented by 500 bev. it is very likely that the threshold of 60,000 units will be exceeded at the end of the year. Semiconductors did not negatively impact volumes, also because the group must produce volumes in full electric vehicles to avoid the very high Co2 fines.

The difficulties of Maserati models continue. The production of the Maserati Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante with about 16,102 units did better in terms of production than the approximately 10,776 produced in the first half of 2020, but the effect is always due in large part to the production block due to the lock-down.

In the most optimistic of the forecasts for 2021, estimating the Maserati productions of the Torinese Polo above 2020, precisely around 20,000 units, it would still be – 60% compared to the results achieved in 2017. Both the Levante and the Ghibli production and Quattroporte have been on a shift for some time and recourse to the use of social safety nets is likely for the next few months.

It is essential for the production center to complete the investments envisaged in the old FCA plan, specifically it becomes necessary to start production of the two Maserati GC and GT in the coming months and to complete the electrification process. The Maserati project must materialize by relaunching the cars produced in the Turin Polo. It is not possible to declare that Maserati will represent the luxury answer of the Stellantis group and then not to implement a relaunch strategy with concrete investments in the short term; to bring Turin back to the 2017 volumes of over 54,000 Maserati.


From the second quarter of 2021 the production climb of Maserati's super sports car, the new MC20, began. In the first nine months of the year 370 MC20s were produced, saturating the production capacity and eliminating the social safety nets. Now the expectation is to grow both in volumes and in employment, especially in direct production. The investments that involved all stages of production are bearing fruit, so much so that the production process was carried out entirely on the site: from the first body in the area, to the engine, up to the painting. The use of social safety nets has almost disappeared for many months, and now the expectation is to grow both in volumes and in employment, especially in direct production.

The market has already responded well with the acquisition of an important order backlog which gives ample coverage to the production capacity of the Modena plant.

In the two Modena sites there are over 1200 employees, around 200 direct production staff and 1,000 engineers engaged in design and development activities. With respect to the future of the Stellantis group, it is essential for us that this important reality linked to research and design has its own continuity and development, not undergoing downsizing.


The Cassino plant stood with 32,554 vehicles in the first nine months of 2021, with a loss in volumes -12.8% compared to 2020. If we take the pre-covid period as a reference, production almost doubles in the loss with about -21.5% compared to the third quarter of 2019. Semiconductors deal a further blow to the already strongly negative situation determined in 2020 with the lock-down. The productions are respectively 11,281 for Giulia and 21,173 for Stelvio. The decline in production volumes at the Cassino plant has continued since 2017. Currently the Lazio plant is at 10% -15% of its production potential.

2021 was characterized by the continuous use of social safety nets to secure employment, which in the last year and a half has decreased by over 1,000 workers, from about 4,300 to 3,289. In the third quarter alone, almost 20 working days were lost (-38%) compared to the theoretical one, which are added to the approximately 46 collective closing days of the first half. In the remaining working days, however, we march at reduced speed with about 500 workers in CIG every day. The situation is also having serious repercussions on the related industries of the plant. The productions of Giulia and Stelvio have been carried out for some time on a single central shift. The hope to reverse this extremely negative trend hangs at the start of the production of the new Maserati Grecale SUV, even if we do not have all the guarantees that it will be enough to eliminate the use of social safety nets. The production of the first pre-series continues, even if the expected departure at the end of the year is not yet certain. Uncertainty now determined by the supply of semiconductors, which in the case of the launch of a new car, must not compromise commercial success with interminable waiting for delivery. Given the situation of suffering on semiconductors that will also characterize the first half of 2022, this aspect will be the subject of discussions with Stellantis in the coming days starting from the meeting in the ministerial office on 11 October.

So for 2021, the plant will be conditioned only by the performances of Giulia and Stelvio. With the Maserati Grecale, the premium platform with hybrid engine will also arrive in Cassino, which will subsequently allow it to be developed on the other two Alfa Romeo models, probably in 2022. For Fim-Cisl, the future industrial plan of Stellantis will have to provide for a strong investment in new multi-brand products in the premium sector for the Cassino plant. Of course we want to understand the future allocations from the group, given the statements made recently by the CEO of Alfa Romeo Philippe Imparato about “a yearly launch of the Alfa Romeo, Ds, Lancia brands until 2026.


In 2020, the production of Melfi alone represented half of the cars produced by FCA. Given that it is also confirmed in 2021 with 45% of the cars produced. However, the 142,458 cars for the Lucanian plant were not enough to beat 2020 production in the black year of the pandemic, conditioned by the covid-19 stop. The production figure remains strongly below, – 29.3%, compared to the nine months of 2019 pre-covid, where production had exceeded 200,000 units. The downturn in the Italian and European markets, but above all the production stoppages generated by the lack of semiconductors, have weighed heavily on the results of the plant: a third of production less. After all, the Lucanian plant worked half of the theoretical working days foreseen in the third quarter and the communication of just over a week of work for October adds strong concerns.

In detail, the production of the Jeep Compass reached 37,197 units, the Jeep Renegade 64,001, the Fiat 500x 41,260.

It is estimated that the final annual figure will be well below 200,000 units. Numbers so low that in Melfi they were seen before the 2015 production increase of the two SUVs Renegade and 500x. The increase in the use of layoffs in the first six months of 2021 and the use of numerous production stops, which increased in the last three months, affected production volumes.

The reorganization involving the production area was completed. In particular, this involves an upgrade of one of the current two production lines, with a production capacity of around 400,000, and the creation of a specific area for the assembly of batteries, the production of new components in the Press and Plastic units and a intervention in the bodywork area. The agreement then defined professional training interventions, incentive methods with voluntary membership to avoid redundancies and layoffs. The agreement also provided for the use of social safety nets to deal with production drops and preparation for future productions.

The Melfi plant will be at the center of discussions between the trade unions, the Stellantis group and the Ministry of Economic Development. It is necessary that the commitments made with the trade union agreements regarding the future prospects of the production site must also be guaranteed at the ministerial level. Specifically, the Stellantis Group has anticipated the assignment to the plant of the future Bev STLA Medium platform, with an autonomy of up to 700 km and from 2024 four new fully electric and multi-brand cars will be developed, which will support the current productions, ensuring positive prospects for the future.


Production in the third quarter of 2021 reached 88,876 units, down also compared to the 91,978 units produced in 2020 and 43% lower than in the pre-covid period of 2019. It is estimated that production in 2021 will be lower than those of 2020. Also in Pogliano the semiconductors hit more than Covid on the production of the Panda.

To date, the Pomigliano plant employs 4,481 workers, on average 35% of the workforce has been in layoffs on a rotating basis on working days. In the last quarter it is the plant that has undergone more collective stops, -70% compared to the potential production days.

The works for the new Alfa Romeo SUV Tonale model are in fact almost completed and involved investments in bodywork, painting and the former area 147. Alfa's CEO recently confirmed the start of production in March 2022 and the sale on the market in June. In the next meeting we will ask for assurances and guarantees on all this, because also for the Tonale we would not want the problems on the microchips to further postpone the start of production.

With the start of production of the new Alfa Romeo SUV and the production of the various Panda models, there are conditions for plant saturation and full employment in Pomigliano. Pomigliano's main problem is to have guarantees until the production of the current Panda model is planned and to have answers in Stellantis' future business plan. If the production of the Panda will arrive until 2023 or 2024, we need to know either the confirmation of the production of the future new Panda or the certainty of the assignment of another new model capable of saturating the production capacity of the plant. For the Fim-Cisl this is an indispensable issue, a further period of use of the social safety nets after the launch of the new car would no longer be socially sustainable.


The productions in commercial vehicles account for over 40% of the total semiannual production. With 209,573 commercial vehicles produced, production increased by 19.8% in 2020, but with this quarter due to semiconductor shutdowns, it was not possible for the first time to do better than the 2019 pre-covid production. From the month of May it had started with 18 shifts and this had allowed a boost in volumes so as to hypothesize to exceed the threshold of 300,000 commercial vehicles, a quota never reached by the Val di Sangro plant. Unfortunately this objective, which was concretely within reach, will not be achieved due to the days of production stoppage which for the first time also affected the Sevel plant in the last quarter. Three weeks of work were lost, precisely 14 working days -28% and all this negatively impacted the employment levels of the site. The company unilaterally proceeded to bring the plant to 15 shifts with an employment impact of about 950 workers. This led to the interruption of the travel of about 650 employees of the Group and over 300 temporary workers. We did not agree with this choice which led to the deadweight loss of the jobs of many young people who joined the company. We could easily intervene using shock absorbers while maintaining employment, given that the volumes of orders are very important it is only a temporary problem determined by the supplies of semiconductors. A phase of conflict with the company is open, for us it is essential to find positive solutions both for the temporary workers still in force in the company (about 450), and for the more than 430 workers whose contract was terminated in the 2021.

For the Fim-Cisl it is essential to intervene immediately to build direct hiring paths for workers for permanent staff, who have been operating continuously and without interruptions for some time in Sevel. At the same time it is necessary to identify a series of protection tools, starting from the right of precedence to future hiring for workers who have lost their jobs.

The Ducato Elettrico has entered production, we think it is equally important that the hydrogen type is also developed for the future. The fact that there are no widespread distribution centers in our country is weighing heavily on this last aspect. The government needs to focus on building a hydrogen distribution network. It is then necessary to understand from Stellantis starting from next Monday's meeting, how to continue with the investments on the structure and systems and to verify with constancy and attention that the internal balances of the Stellantis group, with the Polish plant, do not cause negative impacts. for the future. Specifically, we also want to confirm at ministerial level and there is a clear commitment that the types of production on the Polish plant are not a substitute for the Italian one.

The meeting of 11 October at the Ministry of Economic Development with the Stellantis Group. The Italian Government must build with the trade unions the necessary guarantees to ensure an industrial and employment perspective for all the factories and structures / entities in our country.

In the last period we have also brought the comparison at the government level for the Stellantis group and for the automotive sector. Precisely at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economic Development, because we believe that the role that the Italian government can play is important as Fim-Cisl, both in terms of guarantees, but above all for the choices of social sustainability strictly related to the ecological transition towards greener motorization, connectivity, autonomous driving, which will characterize the future of the automotive sector and therefore of the largest manufacturer in our country.

We are not discussing the Stellantis business plan, but since the future plan is built in progression, it is essential that the dialogue with the Group, also in the presence of the government, is constructive and has its own continuity in ensuring positive progress. .

It is for this reason that after the agreement signed for the Melfi plant, the future electric media platform and the four multi-brand models, which from 2024 will support the existing productions, the commitments must be made explicit to the Government of our country. taken, to secure them.

With the assignment in Italy and in Termoli of one of the five Gigafactories we have acquired as Fim-Cisl together with the other trade unions another important result for Italy which also secures the future of the other Stellantis plants and gives a positive response to sector. This commitment will also have to be reflected in a trade union agreement and in a specific commitment by the Stellantis group and the Italian government.

It is essential now in the comparison that opens with the Stellantis group, to understand the strategies with respect to the other factories that produce endothermic engines, we still have important realities such as the Cento and Pratola Serra plant and the road for the conversion of mechanical factories, which involves also the factories of Verrone and the mechanics of Mirafiori. We have little time ahead of us compared to the interruption of diesel and petrol engines planned in Europe in 2035. For us, the ecological transition is important, but it must be accompanied by a social sustainability that cannot include redundancies, but reindustrialisations and redevelopments, and this it concerns both for Stellantis and the automotive sector.

From the production data that we have processed, the critical situation that the Italian plants already face is evident, with the use of social safety nets to deal with the “desaturation” of the plants, it has been further aggravated by the crisis generated by the lack of semiconductors. From our point of view, all this cannot impact on the Stellantis group's strategic choices for the future, if anything it must question the Group and the government on a policy of reducing the distance between the labor chain and a policy of production and supply of others as well. components in our country and not delocalized. In this regard, like Fim-Cisl, we think that for semiconductors the Government and Stellantis must implement all the initiatives aimed at setting up a semiconductor factory in our country.

Our analysis clearly shows the need for a Stellantis industrial plan that aims to assign new models to the Italian plants using the four new electric platforms announced by the CEO Carlos Tavares. It was done for Melfi by anticipating the plan for the four new multi-brand cars on the STLA Medium, it must be completed for all production sites, starting with the brands that characterize Italian productions (Maserati and Alfa Romeo). If the CEO of Alfa Romeo has stated in recent days that every year there will be a production launch of Alfa Romeo and Lancia, the discussion with Stellantis must find a concrete answer with respect to the allocations in the various plants.

It is essential that the old business plan of FCA 2019-2021 is completed, but it is equally essential that the synergies and advantages on platforms and models must be oriented to positively face the changes taking place, especially without endangering employment, plants. and all entities and services, building a strong and strategic industrial plan. We have obtained important results on the forward-looking commitments for two plants such as Melfi and Termoli, now it must be done for each plant and entity of the Group in Italy.

For the Fim-Cisl it will be essential that the discussion in the ministerial seat on the new industrial plan obtain concrete and positive progress on all aspects: from the assignment of future platforms and new productions, to the role assigned to Italy in the various areas starting from from research, to the relaunch of Italian brands such as AlfaRomeo, Maserati, Fiat and 500 and to further develop Jeep productions, as well as the possibility of producing cars of other brands of the group in our country. The main objective remains the guarantee of securing establishments and jobs.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Sun, 10 Oct 2021 05:49:29 +0000.