Stellantis is considering whether to close one of two production lines at its Melfi car plant in southern Italy, the head of the FIM CISL union told Reuters.

The news agency said the Jeep Renegade and Compass plus the Fiat 500X compact SUV are produced at Melfi, considered Stellantis' most efficient plant in Italy, but they could be moved to a single production line.

Closing a line at Melfi could mark a first step by CEO Carlos Tavares to tackle excess capacity in Italy, Reuters suggested.

Stellantis was not immediately available for comment to the news agency.

The carmaker's production in Italy is under scrutiny for costing more than elsewhere, as Stellantis seeks more than EUR5bn (US$5.9bn) a year in savings following its creation from the merger of PSA Group and FCA earlier this year.

Downsizing plants was at the heart of Tavares' 'back in the race' strategy at PSA where he helped the Peugeot maker recover from near bankruptcy around a decade ago.

All plants producing fewer than 250,000 vehicles per year saw their capacity cut from two production lines to one to maximise capacity at the remaining line.

FIM CISL's Ferdinando Uliano told Reuters the plan at Melfi was being assessed and Stellantis had not made a decision. The union had yet to receive official confirmation that the project was being considered, he added.

Tavares has committed not to close plants or cut jobs.

"We are very worried," Uliano said. "Once you have reduced production capacity at one site, it's very difficult to gain it back."

Unions will meet with Stellantis' 'enlarged Europe' region top executives on 15 April Turin to discuss the outlook for the group's production sites in Italy, Reuters added.