Stellantis, the product of Fiat-Chrysler's merger with PSA, is in the electric car market more out of duty than love.
Although it is becoming the norm, the electric car seems more decried than ever. A distant ideal at the turn of the century when Toyota introduced the hybrid Prius, the electric car is now a reality for millions of people around the world.
But far from the ideal vision we had of the “clean car” 10 years ago, the electric car fueled endless debates as its popularity continued to grow. If Emmanuel Macron opened the Mondial de l'Auto in Paris by raising the ecological bonus (state aid for the purchase of an electric car) Carlos Tavares, boss of the giant Stellantis (Fiat-Chrysler-PSA alliance) closes the Parisian salon by criticizing the electric car.
The electric car suffers from an “industrial patriotism”
For him, it is the very design of this car that needs to be reviewed. “It was not well thought out or well executed”, he explains to our colleagues from La Voix du Nord. As the world is fragmenting into three “bubbles”, Tavares advocates globalization.
In his speech the big boss of Stellantis explains that these ” bubbles ” (North American, European and Chinese) will produce for themselves, with little possibility of export. For him, this idea could be expensive for the consumer. “For thirty years, the purchasing power of the European middle class was based on the fact that we imported manufactured goods from low-cost countries. If at some point we say this strategy does not work because it deindustrializes Europe and we want to close down to produce locally what must be consumed locally. »
< p>This political will to re-industrialize Europe, Emmanuel Macron advocated it at the Mondial de l'Auto highlighting all the quality of French production. But for Carlos Tavares, things are more complicated. We adapt, but don't forget to go full circle to know all the consequences, starting with the price.
Last May, the big boss of Stellantis assured, during a trip to India, that he wanted to develop the manufacture of electric cars in the country. This market grid should therefore not be to the liking of the CEO who is keen to keep his group as international as possible.
” We don't play in the same league as Renault “
Asked about the Franco-French competition with the diamond brand Renault, the boss of Stellantis simply brushed the question aside. “We don't play in the same league”. If he recognizes that the brand has “good ideas”, he also recalls that the profitability of Stellantis is 12 times that of Renault. The production of the Franco-Italian group brings a turnover four times higher.
In its defense, the Renault group has dominated the ranking of electric car sales in France for a few months with its new Mégane e -Tech which was one of the finalists for the title of “Car of the Year” finally won by Kia with the Evo 7.
An ever more present Chinese competition
Asian competition very present in Europe which worries Tavares. The CEO of Stellantis assures him, the merger with Fiat-Chrysler serves above all to prevent this new competition. Japanese and Korean firms have been present on the market for years, but also Chinese manufacturers who, thanks to large state investments, are beginning to invade the electric car market.
At the Mondial de l 'Auto, nearly one stand out of three was reserved by a young Chinese company that came to present its brand new electric car.