Stellantis in Poland with Leapmotor production: trade unions on a battle line. What about Mirafiori?

Gloria Fiocchi Author
Stellantis is keeping quiet, not giving official press releases, but the facts speak for themselves: production of the Leapmotor T03 electric citycar has begun at the plant in Tychy, Poland. 

Tychy, not Mirafiori: this is where European production of the Leapmotor-branded electric citycar T03 lands. Stellantis decision that remains silent but has ignited the unions’ spirits and much uncertainty about the future of the Italian plant. Nothing official announcements from the group born from the FCA-PSA merger, but the rumors, now a certainty, relate a start-up that occurred as early as last week, with the goal of reaching full production capacity in September.

Stellantis: T03 production in Poland, Mirafiori at risk? An open fight with unions

So what was behind the choice Poland as a place of production? What is the reason?  Behind the choice to produce elsewhere, outside the motherland, is an economic calculation. In fact, it costs half as much to produce in Poland as it does in Italy. According to analysts, the cost per car is around 400-500 euros compared to the 1,000 euros needed in Mirafiori. A significant gap that prompted Stellantis to focus on Tychy, where the Fiat 600 and Jeep Avenger are already assembled.

In addition to the T03 citycar, the A12 C-segment SUV will also be produced at the Tychy plant, while the C10 will continue to be assembled in China for later export to Europe.

Leapmotor C10

So now discontent and discussions begin among the unions who do not want such a situation. The FIOM-CGIL does not agree and called the decision “a very serious fact,” a signal of Stellantis’ disengagement with Italy. “We learn that the first models of Chinese Leapmotor electric cars will be produced in Poland: mass production from September and an additional model from 2025. If these news were confirmed, this would be extremely serious,” thundered Samuele Lodi, FIOM-CGIL national secretary in charge of the mobility sector. “During the last meeting in Turin with the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, we were told that evaluations were being made and that in any case Italy would be a possibility to be considered.”

Carlos Taavares

What about the Mirafiori plant in Italy? The Turin plant remains with bated breath. Production of the electric 500, though resumed at a reduced pace, is not enough to reassure workers and unions. On June 12, a procession of workers in the supply chain marched through the streets of Turin to express concern about Mirafiori’s future.

Now it only remains to see what the future holds, because the situation is rather uncertain. Stellantis’ decision to produce Leapmotors in Poland opens up disturbing scenarios for Mirafiori. The unions are demanding clarity and guarantees on the future of the plant, while the national secretary of FIOM-CGIL, Samuele Lodi, has even asked the Prime Minister to summon Carlos Tavares and the unions for a discussion.