Stellantis CEO warns: Brussels’ thermal vehicle sanctuary could lead to factory closures

Paris is the epicenter of the automotive industry this week. Big brands and industry leaders meet at the Mondial de l’Automobile, the auto fair held in the French capital. There, CEO of Stellantis, Charles Tavaresleft a series of news and also notifications especially for community legislators. EU policies for the group’s employer, whose main plant (by production volume) is in Vigo an obstacle to the development a “hard-hitting” challenge for the industry and, above all, for the future. The Portuguese refer specifically to the imposition of the electric vehicle and the expiration date imposed on thermal vehicles. “If we leave it to the political leaders of Europe, including the Spaniards, to continue to impose restrictions on car use in Europe,” Tavares warned, “the market will shrink and we won’t need so many factories”.

Coinciding with the landmark event in Paris, Tavares gave interviews to a number of European media, including El País and El Español. The warning initiated by the person in charge of Stellantis, received by both media, was accompanied by a “simple” explanation, as he understood it: “A European factory produces an average of 200,000 to 350,000 vehicles per year. And before the pandemic, we had 18 million records in Europe. Now, on the other hand, there are about 15 million… so if the three million missing in demand are divided by a production of about 250,000 output the number of plants more What’s in Europe?”

While the numbers are a bit off target, the result of the calculations initiated by the Stellantis model is a dozen factories. It has spread to more than twenty in Europe, Spain (Vigo, Madrid and Zaragoza), Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Slovakia and Serbia. Of course, before the visit of French president Emmanuel Macron, Tavares said he was not considering closing any French factories in the “medium term”.

As the group’s CEO recalls, the electric vehicle involves the application of a technology “very expensive” and the truth is, enrollments have dwindled. Believing that “there are more and more limitations” and “no reason for that,” Tavares criticized, “European governments have acknowledged that the market continues to shrink.”

The basis of his criticism is the veto of combustion engines, which means the imposition of the electric car in 2035, as well as the Euro 7, which will be the final straw for diesel in 2025. “Euro 7 is useless. It’s only good for redirecting resources. I think Euro 7 should be canceled”, summarized the new regulations for the Portuguese vehicle emission standard.

Competition

Regarding the future of the electric vehicle, the president also warned in another interview with Franceinfo that its price will start to equal the price of thermal vehicles in 2026. “The price of electric vehicles is highly exposed to raw material prices,” commented, “As volumes increase, we will be able to increase productivity and this will reflect on the customer.” Of course, Stellantis CEO pointed out that as with raw material prices, cars cost the same. “It will also be variable.”

For Tavares, on the other hand, while the EU is opening its doors to Chinese manufacturers, the Asian giant is putting more and more obstacles in front of Western brands. “Chinese manufacturers are being greeted with a red carpet in Europe,” he said.“This is not how we are received in China.”

In addition to announcing two new models for the Mulhouse factory, the Portuguese Automobile World, Who owns Chinese brands like BYD to censor EU policies regarding the Asian country. According to him, there should be “reciprocity” in tariffs, and also “The fight will be very, very difficult” With Chinese competitors Therefore, the Chinese face 10% tariffs, compared to the 25% that European manufacturers have to pay in tariffs.

Source: Informacion

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