Stellantis, the parent company of Fiatcame to the conclusion that it cannot currently make affordable electric vehicles (EVs) in Europa and is studying the possibility of manufacturing them at a lower cost in markets such as India, its chief executive told reporters.
If India, with its low-cost supplier base, is able to meet the company’s quality and cost targets by the end of 2023, it could open the door to exporting electric vehicles to other markets, said Carlos Tavareschief executive of the group whose brands also include Peugeot y Chrysler.
“So far, Europe is unable to make affordable EVs. So the big opportunity for India would be to be able to sell EV compact cars at an affordable price, while protecting profitability,” Tavares told reporters at a media roundtable in India late on Wednesday.
Stellantis is investing heavily in electric vehicles and plans to produce dozens of them over the next decade, but Tavares warned last month that battery-electric vehicles were five to six years away. affordable.
On his first visit to India since taking over as Stellantis chief executive, he said the company was still working on a plan to export electric vehicles from the country and no decision had yet been made.
Tavares’ possible bet on India comes after US automakers Ford y General Motors They left the world’s fourth largest auto market after failing to make money or break Japan’s dominance Suzuki Motor Corp and the South Korean Hyundai Motor.
It also comes at a time when Chinese EV makers are pushing their way into Europe, aiming to win over buyers with more affordable cars, having stolen share from most of their foreign rivals in China, the The world’s largest market for electric vehicles.
Stellantis already makes its own electric motors and battery packs, and plans to make battery cells as well. Also in India, Tavares wants to source EV components, including batteries, locally so that it can be cost and price competitive.
“Customs duties to import a car into India are very high. So if you want to have an affordable electric vehicle, you have to make it in India with Indian suppliers and components,” he said, adding that the company would have to purchase at least 90% of the pieces in the country to be competitive.
“Today, the electric vehicle is above all an affordability issue,” he said. “It’s not about technology.”
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