Will production of Fiat Panda electric leave even more people jobless?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Serbia decided to move the production of seats for new electric car, which will start this year from the Kragujevac factory, under their roof,  which led to the Adient Seating Company, a Fiat’s subcontractor, to close its branch in Serbia.

Part of the Adient workers will start working for FCA and continue the production of seats for the new electric model under FCA. It is rumoured that the workers of Fiat Plastics will also transfer to the same company. The question is now whether the production of the electric Fiat Panda will leave more people jobless.

The Automotive Cluster of Serbia doesn’t expect huge changes in this segment, at least not in 2024.

“Fiat is known for keeping everything very secret,” says Igor Vijatov, the Cluster’s president, says and adds: “They will have their own suppliers, of course, but we don’t know which companies are these yet. FCA has already chosen them, but no one knows who’s on the list”.

“This (Adient leaving) did not happen overnight. Production decreased year-on-year year, but companies from this sector have partners all over the world. Some companies originally came because of Fiat, but they found other partners as well. There are a lot of big global companies here. They have contacts all over the world and will continue to do so,” Vijatov adds.

According to him, about 200 companies operate in the segment of auto components in Serbia.

“According to our data, the market value in 2022 was around five billion euros. It is expected that the financial statements in March will show that the amount is similar to last year. I believe that nothing significant will happen in 2024 either. The new model will bring the biggest change for us consumers,” says Viatov.

“What we can assume, based on FCA Serbia’s past operations, is that there won’t be major turbulences in the segment of auto suppliers in Serbia,” Ana Raičević, secretary of the Association for the Metal and Electrical Industry at the Chamber of Commerce says and adds: “For example, the engine unit of the previous FCA model was not produced in Serbia, but imported, while most of the domestic companies were engaged in producing the body and interior. In terms of the overall automotive sector, we can certainly expect and hope for that in the coming period, new investments will be realized, which, in addition to existing Fiat suppliers, will participate in the production of the new model.”

(Forbes, 20.01.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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