by Gilles Guillaume and Giulio Piovaccari
BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT (Hauts-de-Seine)/MILAN (Reuters) – Stellantis is confident it can catch up with Californian electric champion Tesla in the coming years, the chief executive of the carmaker born in France said on Friday. merger between PSA and FCA, adding that competition in the sector would benefit the end customer.
The fourth largest automotive group in the world presented its first strategic plan at the beginning of the month, thanks to which it intends to double its turnover to 300 billion euros by 2030 and strongly accelerate the electrification of its range of vehicles.
“I’m really confident, and I’m not trying to be arrogant, I’m just confident that we’re going to catch up to Tesla in a few years from now, and it’s going to be very healthy competition,” he said. CEO of Stellantis to journalists during a digital press encounter organized by Mobility TV World.
Carlos Tavares also called for increased investment in networks of charging stations in Europe and the United States in order to create a “density” considered essential to convince motorists to switch to battery-powered cars.
The manager also indicated that due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the group was going to transfer to Western Europe, to the French factory in Sevelnord and the British factory in Luton, its Russian production of vans intended for export, and that in the context of the current war, the question of new investments on Russian soil was not topical.
This decision constitutes a reversal whereas in January, Stellantis envisaged to use its Russian site of Kaluga to supplement its Western installation and to export vans since Russia to face the strong demand currently recorded on this type of vehicle.
In the current context, “new investments in Russia are not on the table”, indicated Carlos Tavares.
The Russian plant in Kaluga, owned with Mitsubishi, however, continues its production for the local market.
“Kaluga continues its production at a low rate in a context of increasingly complicated logistics flows,” said a spokesperson for Stellantis.
The war in Ukraine is also driving up the price of the metals used in cars, from aluminum for bodywork to palladium for catalytic converters and nickel for electric batteries. Manufacturers, already exposed to a shortage of semiconductors, thus find themselves confronted with additional pressure which is also added to the increase in the energy bill.
“Stellantis has not been so affected so far because our supply base is not concentrated in Eastern Europe,” he added, adding that he expected the sector to suffer from new shortages of raw materials, especially nickel.
(Report Giulio Piovaccari, with Gilles Guillaume, written by Myriam Rivet, and Matthieu Protard, edited by Sophie Louet)