FCA studio talent for rent; $12 billion in credit; CEO World Tour

Stellantis released three stories recently, one noting that the company had arranged for a $12 billion credit facility—always handy, one showing CEO Carlos Tavares on tour, and another announcing that Stellantis’ design facilities are available for consulting by companies inside and outside of the automotive business.

The second part takes a little explanation. Automakers often do more than just make cars; Ferrari reportedly made more money racing than building cars, and Lotus has long had consulting with other automakers as its primary business. Before Stellantis, Peugeot had made its own studios and expertise available to “from transportation to industrial, manufacturing, and tertiary business” under the Peugeot Design Lab name. Now, it will be expanded to include former Fiat Chrysler brands, with Maserati, Jeep, and Lancia specifically called out. “Stellantis Design Studio will connect its network of clients with its iconic brands and move beyond design consultancy by defining inter-company design partnerships.”

Tavares at Warren with Ragalyi, Resha

The studio will be led by Klaus Busse, who went from Daimler to design for Ram and then overseeing Maserati and Jeep in Europe, and Arnault Gournac, existing director of the Peugeot Design Lab and Cycles Peugeot. Klaus is “Head of Design and leads the strategic development of the Studio expanding to the Company’s brands” and Arnault “serves as Creative Director for the Stellantis Design Studio’s evolution and its international development.”

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Finally, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares toured the Warren truck plant on July 19, 2021, his fourth visit to a U.S. plant; before this, he visited Jefferson North, Mack Assembly, and the Toledo Assembly Complex. Warren is set to make the new Jeep Wagoneer and already makes the Ram 1500 Classic; it has made over 14.5 million trucks. Employees showed company leaders the process improvements they made to increase quality and save money.

In addressing plant employees following the tour, Tavares reminded them that Stellantis was created to weather the unpredictable things that will happen in the future: “We have created Stellantis as an important shield to give our company the capability to be sustainable in such an adverse environment. Stellantis is a much stronger company facing those headwinds and those unpredictable things than FCA in a standalone position or PSA in a standalone position.”

Tavares added,  “It is fantastic to see what our two families have achieved in six months. I can tell you from my previous experiences, this is absolutely outstanding. What is outstanding is the collaborative spirit that we have inside of the company.”

David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create StellPower.com, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.

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