Stellantis has reached an agreement with both its trade unions and the Serbian government, over its assembly operation in Kragujevac. The facility currently manufactures the Fiat 500L minivan, which will be discontinued more than likely at the end of the year. In its place, rumors have the new electrified Fiat Panda lineup being built at the facility and reaching the market by 2024.
FCA Serbia is a joint venture between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) now Stellantis, which owns 67% of its capital, and the Serbian government, which owns the remainder.
At a press conference at the Kragujevac city administration building, it was announced that the facility will retain a workforce of 1,550 employees, meaning that 500 employees of its current staff would be laid off. Prime Minister Ana Brnabić stated that the 500 employees, including all the pregnant women, mothers with children, disabled employees, and families undergoing in vitro fertilization from July 1st, would receive 100% of their salary.
The Prime Minister also said that around 1,000 of the remaining employees will spend 18 to 24 months working at Stellantis plants in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Slovakia, and will return to work in Kragujevac once the plant is ready to start production of its next vehicle. Those employees are able to apply to work abroad from today to June 1st.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that a working group (made up of representatives from trade unions, employees, the Serbian Development Agency (RAS), and the Serbian government) will determine the amount of severance pay, as well as who gets the money, for those employees who do not want to travel abroad.
As a bonus, the Prime Minister stated those employees who do work abroad will be able for a bonus of €11,000 (or about $11,766 USD) before their departure. They will also receive a minimum salary of €800 (or about $850 USD) if they are at the plant in Slovakia, €850 (or about $910 USD) if they are relocated to Poland, and will receive an additional bonus of €6,000 upon their return to Serbia. Each employee who makes the travel, they and their family will be provided with health insurance during the duration of their trip.
Stellantis officially confirmed that the next-generation Fiat Panda would not be produced in the Pomigliano Assembly Plant. Instead, the current model will continue in production at the Pomigliano plant until 2026. Meaning that the two vehicles will coexist with the same nameplate for a couple of years.
It is rumored that the next-generation Fiat Panda, will be based on the 2019 Fiat Centoventi Concept. The Centoventi Concept received great praise due to its innovative interior, customizable exterior, and multiple upgradable battery packs.