Once a fierce critic of the European Union’s push to restrict ICE vehicles, Stellantis is now reaping rewards from its shift in focus to EVs, with France taking the lead thanks to revised “green bonus” incentives for Europe-made cars while freezing out Chinese brands. Yesterday the company announced a 7% year-on-year sales uptick yesterday, with a 37% boost in EV sales in Europe, beating out Tesla.
Stellantis, the parent company of Fiat, Ram, and Peugeot, can thank sales of its popular Jeep Avenger, Citroën Ami, and Peugeot E-208 models for the boost in EV sales. According to figures released yesterday and spotted by Euroactiv, the company’s revenue is €45.1 billion.
“We secured second place in Europe over Tesla” in overall EU sales, said incoming CFO Natalie Knight in a meeting with the group’s general assembly. Tesla ranked third in sales, while VW Group took top honors. “We are doing everything we can to further our [efforts], all the while responding to key short-term sector challenges and continuing our electric and technological transformation.”
Stellantis, formed in 2021, was an early critic of the European Union’s call to restrict sales of new ICE vehicles after 2035, with company CEO Carlos Tavares calling the new rules “dogmatic” and “an organized movement against the automobile” as recently as 2022.
Of course, this renewed focus is all part of a major European strategy to shift the spotlight away from cheaper Chinese-made cars to domestic ones with greener production cycles. China has taken the top spot in Europe’s EV market over the past 15 years, with Chinese brands taking 8% in 2022. European Commission data expects a jump to 15% by 2025, which would be a huge blow to European automakers. China’s BYD also announced a big jump in quarterly profit gains over the past year, with an 82% year-on-year increase, rising to $1.42 billion (€1.34 billion).
President Emmanuel Macron recently unveiled new incentives to sway buyers away from Chinese models toward French and European ones, including a new €100 per month leasing scheme for EU-made electric cars. The French government also announced a big rollout of cash incentives for first-time EV buyers, as long as they bought cars made in the EU. The green bonus, which was once a €5,000-flat cash incentive applicable to all EVs, now takes into account the car’s production and life cycle, freezing out Chinese and foreign-made cars with heavy CO2 emissions in their manufacturing process. France has committed to producing over 1 million EVs by the end of 2027.
Stellantis plans to bring its all-electric Citroën ë-C3 to market soon as an affordable EV with a 44kWh battery pack and 320-km (199-mile) range. Prices start at €23,300. Stellantis has also opened a new Battery Technology Center at the Mirafiori complex in Turin, Italy.
Photo credit: Stellantis
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