(Bloomberg) -- Stellantis NV plans to slash thousands of jobs in Italy just a few weeks after Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares tried to defuse a clash with the Italian government over plans to move car production to lower-cost countries.

Reductions planned at Stellantis facilities including Melfi and Pomigliano D’Arco in southern Italy will take total cuts to 3,597 — around 8% of the Fiat maker’s workforce in the country, the Fiom union said Wednesday.

Stellantis declined to comment on the exact number of the staff changes. On Tuesday, it said the exits are part of a broader agreement with Italian unions for workers near retirement or seeking new employment opportunities. Discussions are ongoing, so the final figure may change.

Tavares has been on a cost-cutting course to make Stellantis leaner and has thinned its workforce in France, Austria and the US, often citing pressures from the shift to electric vehicles. In Italy — where EV demand has cratered as buyers wait for new subsidies Rome flagged late last year — the CEO has clashed with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni over deliberations to shift carmaking to where it’s cheaper.

Last month, Tavares tried to defuse the weeks-long row, pledging to bolster local production and highlighting efforts already made to widen its footprint in the country. Stellantis, which owns brands including Fiat, Maserati and Alfa Romeo, cut about 2,000 jobs in Italy last year and a similar number in 2022.

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