after rumors, Stellantis denies any merger plans, especially with Renault

A rumor has been circulating in the big world of cars since last week: the giant Stellantis is considering a mega-merger with another manufacturer to facilitate the consolidation of the sector in Europe against Chinese manufacturers. The Italian press even speculated about a possible connection with… Renault, a rival of the French-Italian-American group.

France maneuvers the car. The Paris government, a shareholder in both Stellantis and Renault, is thinking big ” reported the Rome General Daily on Sunday Il Messaggero. the idea” it is a merger between two automotive groups. Marriage under the leadership of the executive led by President Macron “in the following situations” increase control over the sector » A European car, assured the newspaper.

Denial by the Stellantis group

Explanation this Monday: the president of the Stellantis group, John Elkann, heir to the Agnelli family (founder of Fiat), categorically denies it in a press release: ” There are no studies regarding mergers of Stellantis with other manufacturers », assures the boss in a press release.

And explain that the manufacturer ” focuses on the implementation of its strategic plan “A” on the timely implementation of announced projects to strengthen its activities in all markets where it operates, including Italy “, he notes. No sound, no picture on the Renault side at the moment. When asked by AFP, the French manufacturer did not wish to comment.

Carlos Tavares does not rule out further consolidation…

These rumors are not as baseless as they seem. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares did not absolutely rule out such a capital-intensive operation in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

“In this Darwinian world, the people who can protect their profits will win.”, he expressed himself. Before adding: “If you see my numbers at the right level, you can conclude that I am ready for any type of consolidation. »

The Portuguese-speaking leader and architect of the merger between PSA and Fiat-Chrysler in 2021 cites fierce competition from Chinese manufacturers as a basic argument: “If the automotive industry does not move, it will disappear under the Chinese offensive (…) Groups that have not prepared (for Chinese competition in electricity, ed.) are facing difficulties, which means that we at Stellantis must be prepared. Those who haven’t done their homework on cost reduction are the ones who end up in trouble. »

Renault abandons Ampere IPO on the stock market: financial markets applaud

When asked about the economic health of the Renault group, the boss assured Bloomberg that he observed what the builder was doing: “We will see how it develops, including in the eyes of the French government. I have no particular interest in this trade than in any other; I just see that they have a different strategy. »

Regardless, Stellantis, which will present its financial results in a few days, would have the means to achieve its ambitions, according to experts. A recent note from Michael Tyndall, an analyst at HSBC, highlighted this echoes, estimates the group’s net cash at 26.5 billion euros at the end of 2023. More than double Renault’s current stock market valuation and half that of Ford or General Motors.

Tensions between the leadership of Meloni and Stellantis

The government of Giorgio Meloni and the management of Stellantis (brands Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Maserati, Lancia) have recently exchanged sharp criticisms in the press. The head of the Italian executive thus accused the car manufacturer of ” privilege » France’s interests from PSA’s merger with Fiat-Chrysler in 2021, while Stellantis criticizes Rome for turning its back on electricity.

As a reminder, at the end of January the French State increased its voting rights in Stellantis to 9.6%, retaining a 6.1% share of the capital, while the Italian State is not present in its capital. As for Renault, the French state has a 15% stake.

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