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23/03/2012 | Paris, March 23, 2012

At this morning's meeting of the European Works Council, management presented the Group's 2011 financial results and discussed the alliance with General Motors announced last 29 February.

As part of the €1 billion cost-reduction plan designed to help restore the Automotive Division's financial situation, management indicated that certain development projects have been postponed, in line with the need to prioritise capital expenditure commitments. In particular:

  • Process engineering for the dual-clutch transmission, to be manufactured at the Valenciennes plant, has been pushed back seven months. During this period, other, more cost-effective pathways will be explored, in particular through the GM Alliance, to provide the Group with this type of gearbox.
  • The C-segment vehicle project planned for the Madrid plant remains suspended.

The recent periods of short-time work in Group plants were necessary to bring inventory under control, at a time when the European market has fallen by 9% since the beginning of the year.

Management also announced the launch of five working groups as part of the alliance with GM:

  • Two groups are studying the feasibility of developments on shared platforms in the large sedan and roomy compact segments.
  • One group is working on a small car programme for emerging markets, with a possible initial application in Latin America.
  • One group is looking at a programme to co-develop a low-carbon small car platform.
  • And lastly, one group is working on the DCT gearbox programme suspended as part of the 2012 cost reduction plan.

Management indicated that it was important to maintain balance in all of the projects that could come out of these working groups, so that they are a source of progress for both partners.

Employee representatives will be informed and consulted when the working groups have issued their conclusions.

The Research and Development teams concerned may have to change assignments, but the total number of R&D staff will remain unchanged

Concerning the consequences of FIAT's withdrawal from the Sevelnord plant in around 2017, management indicated that the following points would have to be addressed:

  • Clarifying beforehand the terms and conditions of FIAT's withdrawal, to as to be free to act as early as possible.
  • Finding a new partner.
  • Continuing to work on the plant's competitiveness.

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