Stellantis, returning to the glories of the past is not likely

Exactly one year after the merger of Fca (that is Fiat) with the Group A dog and since the birth of Stellantis, how are things going over there?

As Italians, of course, we are particularly interested in the fate of the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands, in the Italian factories, in the workers. We would then press that investment in technology and innovation were in constant, if possible, strong growth and that the results of these technologies could be of benefit to the entire Italian industrial system. In short, we would like it not only to keep the honor of the Italian automotive industry high in the world Ferrari. Even if we realize that we are dreamers (but after all, great entrepreneurs live on dreams) we would like the culture, work and money spent in over a century of Italian automotive history to end in nothing, or in a little. And the story of Stellantis is all we have left.

For a few decades, especially in backward markets and countries – among which Italy must unfortunately be honestly counted – the financial and economic destiny of most companies, particularly in the medium and short term, it no longer coincides with general interests. Myopia, I would rather say the ignorance of the ruling classes (politicians, entrepreneurs, managers, economists) has led to recurring crises and a narrowing of objectives (to the famous question of Steve Jobs: “Would you rather change the world or sell for the rest of your life? sugar water? ”, the overwhelming majority would vote for sugar water). In this way, we have ended up authorizing, often with absurd formulas, the breaking of the balance, better than the coincidence, between individual interests and collective interests, what Adam Smith had postulated as a characteristic of free market and of the industrial revolution and which we had never achieved, but which we had pursued for long periods.

Obviously, we are very pleased to learn that Stellantis, since its debut on the stock market on January 18th, has seen its own title rise by 18.3% rising from 13.5 to 16 euros per share. Profits and the good health of businesses are the basis for development, then the rest is needed. So we can only be happy, even if the official results have not yet been disclosed, of the fact that Stellantis is going to take home about 15 billion in operating profit for 2021. It is certainly another good sign that Exor, the company of the Agnelli family that controls FCA, again in 2021 will be able to distribute super dividends to its shareholders: Ferrari has grown on the 31,9% rising from € 176 to € 232 per share; while the Cnh stock (company controlled by Exor) went from 11 to 15 euro per share; only the Juventus, in sharp decline, has created problems for the family.

Meanwhile, the new CEO of Stellantis, the Portuguese by French adoption Carlos Tavares, made contact with the Italian factories, drawing considerations that we will see shortly to prove the facts, since for the moment they only indicate problems of poor productivity, well known and easily solved: it would be enough to invest. In truth, it alarms us a little the recent decision of the new leaders of Alfa Romeo to produce only on request starting from 2023. Especially if combined, for now, with the failure to relaunch the Italian brands, not only Fiat but Lancia and Alfa Romeo.

We are waiting shortly for the new strategy for the FCA group, already by decision of the sadly predominantly American Agnelli, but we do not believe that the announced relaunch of a model of the past, in this case a new Fiat Punto, will be enough to make a change. from the present sad situation. In reality, due to the culpable delay with which the entire world automotive industry (apart, of course, Elon Musk) has faced the electric revolution; for the crisis following Covid, but above all for a previous one contraction of the world demand for cars, the prospects of returning to the numbers of the not distant past they are certainly not likely.

Fiat, the leading brand in Italy and dear to the hearts of Italian motorists, lost further market share in the course of 2021 as it passed from 21,000 to 15,000 registered cars equal to 14.7% of the national market. Worse did the Stellantis group, down to 37.7% compared to 38.8% the previous year. In December the entire group sold 31,687 cars, down 34.8%, with the share dropping to 36.6% from 40.6%, not far from the losses of Volkswagen (-28.63) and Renault ( -21.42). Consequently, in Italy, given these premises and these historical series, the expectations are for ainsufficient evolution of the automotive market, not able to rejuvenate the old and polluting car fleet, nor to revive national production and employment.

In short, for Stellantis and the Agnelli family the accounts in the first year are in order, the rich dividends will not be lacking. But the air for Fiat remains that of the famous Everything is fine, Madame la Marquise (in Turin and Paris they understand us).

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