MILAN -- Italian-Japanese auto parts maker Marelli has reached an agreement with unions to cut 400 jobs in Italy voluntarily, amid rising costs of raw materials and falling sales due to supply-chain problems.
"On redundancies a framework agreement was reached that rules out forced layoffs," Italian unions said in a joint statement after striking a deal with the company.
Marelli confirmed the agreement in a separate statement. It added that it would invest 73 million euros ($78.67 million) this year to strengthen production in its 15 Italian sites.
Unions said workers would be let go only with their "non-opposition," and added that Marelli's total workforce in Italy amounted to 7,187 at the end of 2022.
Marelli, owned by private equity firm KKR, was created in 2019 by combining two major suppliers — one Italian and one Japanese. KKR had agreed to buy Japan's Calsonic Kansei from Nissan in 2016. It then had Calsonic Kansei purchase Magneti Marelli from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2018.
Japan-based Marelli has struggled to find its financial footing in recent years, although its finances are not public. According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Marelli booked four straight years of losses from 2018 through 2021. It entered a court-led restructuring last year.
Marelli ranks No. 20 on the Automotive News Europe list of the world's largest suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $12.04 billion in 2021.
It sells lighting, electronics and interior systems, as well as components for internal combustion vehicles such as exhaust systems.