(New York) Automaker Stellantis said on Wednesday it would offer a voluntary redundancy plan to some of its employees in the United States and Canada, in an effort to cut costs and fund its transition to electric. .

In the United States, the program will be offered to around 33,500 employees, a spokeswoman for the group told AFP. They must have worked at least 15 years in the company and in specific divisions.

The company did not provide figures for Canada.

Stellantis will inform affected employees next week.

“In response to today’s increasingly competitive global market conditions and the necessary shift to electrification, Stellantis is conducting a thorough review of its North American operations to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and protect the competitiveness of our products to enable new strategic investments to support our transformation,” the company explained in a message to AFP.

After having had to face major supply difficulties and rising costs during the pandemic, car manufacturers must now manage the rise in interest rates, which increases the cost of cars and could end up weighing down on request. At the same time, they must invest billions for the transition to electric.

General Motors, also with the aim of saving money, had already proposed a voluntary departure plan in early March. Around 5,000 employees have subscribed to it.

Invoking the transition to electric, Ford announced in February the elimination of 3,800 positions in Europe by 2025, after announcing last August the elimination of approximately 3,000 positions, mainly in North America. and in India.

These departure plans are organized a few months before the opening of negotiations with the American automobile union UAW for a new branch agreement.

In a separate statement, new union president Shawn Fain called Stellantis’ move, after making 16.8 billion euros in profit in 2022, an “insult” to its members.

“Politicians and taxpayers are financing the transition to the electric vehicle (with a lot of government aid, editor’s note), and that’s how the working class is thanked,” he lamented.