The state’s dominant automotive industry continues to undergo major changes.
Just as the United Auto Workers (UAW) continues its contract negotiations with the Big 3 automakers, one of those companies is in the early stages of an international merger.
In a deal that would create the fourth-largest auto manufacturer in the world in terms of sales, Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA) with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, plans to merge with the parent company of French automaker Peugeot.
In a statement announcing the deal, the companies say the 50-50 merger creates opportunity to confront major challenges facing the car industry, ranging from electrification to a new push toward electric vehicles.
“Everything about their business is big, expensive and risky, and nothing is certain,” industry analyst Kristin Dziczek told the Advance in September of the general state of the auto industry.
FCA is in the process of a $4.5 billion expansion around Southeast Michigan that is set to include new assembly plants in Detroit to build profitable trucks and SUVs.
Meanwhile, FCA is next in line for union contract negotiations with the UAW.
Workers with Detroit-based rival General Motors last week ratified a new contract after a six-week strike. On Wednesday night after just days of negotiations, the union announced it had reached a tentative deal with Ford that will now move toward ratification in the coming days.
While the tentative deal with Ford includes a $9,000 ratification bonus for workers, it also would involve the closure of an engine plant in Romeo in Macomb County, according to the Detroit News.