Fiat remains in Serbia

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This information received from the Prime Minister Ana Brnabić is enough to calm the workers to see that the factory has a perspective.

Fiat remains in Serbia. With these words, the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, calmed down the workers of Kragujevac’s “Fiat”. She met with union representatives two days ago when she told them the news.

– This information is enough for us to calm down the workers so that people can see that the factory has a perspective. How the representatives of “Stelantis” and the Government of Serbia, as the minority owner of “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Serbia”, will agree on details of less importance at this moment. We are aware that such complex things are not solved in seven or a month, when it comes to preparations for the production of a larger volume than before – says Sasa Djordjevic, president of the “Fiat” Trade Union.

Asked whether they received information from the Prime Minister as to whether “Stelantis” plans to launch a new car model in Serbia, our interlocutor answered in the negative.

– I think we are still far from such a story. We will give time to the government and “Stelantis” to finalize the agreements. I hope that we will receive additional information in the coming period. We had a constructive meeting on our initiative. I was positively surprised considering that it is an awkward moment, but I am glad that the Prime Minister had the ear to receive us and share with us one really important information that “Fiat” is not leaving Serbia – says Djordjevic.

He adds that the prime ministers presented their situation, ie that they work only a few days a month, that the workers are worried and that the employees are going to work in Slovakia.

A group of about 30 workers of the factory “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Serbia” traveled on a business trip to the Slovak city of Trnava a few days ago, where they will work for 90 days in the “Stelantis” car factory. The interest of workers in going to work in Slovakia was higher, but the number is limited due to the law there, which allows hiring a maximum of 30 workers for up to three months. They are sent to work there on the basis of a business trip. They will have a monthly salary of 660 euros, and they will also receive a daily allowance of 25 euros, so their total income will be 1,410 euros a month.

In addition, workers have the right to come home once a month at the expense of the employer, and he covers transportation to Slovakia and back, as well as accommodation costs. The great interest of the workers was influenced by the good offer, since they only work seven days a month in Serbia.

Last year, “Fiat” finished in ninth place among the largest Serbian exporters, because it sold cars worth 285.5 million euros abroad. This company has been our largest exporter for several years in a row, and in 2014, for example, it exported vehicles worth about 1.4 billion euros, which is five times more than now.

“Stelantis”, a joint company of “Fiat” and “Peugeot”, recently announced that it will announce a long-term strategic plan on March 1, which could mean that by then we will find out what fate awaits Kragujevac’s “Fiat”. The news about the launch of the new model is expected, and whether it will be a classic with internal combustion or electric remains to be seen.

Zoran Markovic, president of the Trade Union of Metalworkers of Serbia and former president of the trade union “Fiat”, says that a new model of a classic car with internal combustion is inevitable. The story of starting a hybrid or electric vehicle, in his opinion, is a transitional solution.

– It is not possible to raise production in Kragujevac with a hybrid or electric car, which are extremely expensive. The new model in for example three variants is the only solution. For that, the state must give its consent, that is, to invest money in proportion to its 33% ownership share. Since “Fiat” is now part of “Stelantis”, the platform “Peugeot”, “Citroen” and “Opel”, “Alfa Romeo” can be used. That can be a saving. Whichever platform the new model is made on, it will be the most modern from the “Stelantis” group – explains Markovic, Politika reports.