Stellantis CEO on the threat of Chinese EV plants in Italy

(Credit: Stellantis)

Stellantis NV CEO Carlos Tavares clarified the company’s position on Chinese electric vehicle brands coming to Italy. He also refuted rumors that Stellantis would shut down production in Italy and leave the country.

“There is fake news going around at the moment that Stellantis will not stay in Italy, that Stellantis will not invest in Italy, that Stellantis will dismantle Fiat. My position is very clear: It is fake news. We are investing more than €5 billion ($5.4 billion) in Italy, and we are going to bring 15 new models. We are creating a gigafactory for batteries, [and] we are investing in two new platforms for our sites,” he said during the global presentation of the Alfa Romeo Milano compact soft-roader. 

The Stellantis CEO also talked about Italian politicians and their discussions with Chinese automakers. 

“Those who are dealing with Chinese carmakers to invite them to come to Italy are on the same path as those who sold Volvo to Geely and MG to [SAIC Motor Corporation.] This is not going to happen to Stellantis. This is not going to happen to Alfa Romeo.” 

Rumors of Stellantis taking production out of Italy suggest that the legacy automaker is leaving to reduce costs and compete with Chinese automakers. The Italian government has been talking with American EV maker Tesla and China’s BYD about production in Italy.

Tavares admitted that competing with Chinese automakers would be challenging. The Stellantis CEO predicts that he will have to make some “unpopular decisions” if a Chinese EV manufacturer establishes a production plan in Italy. 

He confidently stated that Stellantis was ready to fight to keep its market share but warned there would be causalities. Tavares shared that the EV shift has caused the company to thin its workforce in other countries, like France and the United States. Last month, Stellantis cut over 200 workers from its supplemental manufacturing workforce in Detroit.

Stellantis isn’t the only automaker prepared to fight Chinese companies coming to Europe. Renault CEO Luca de Meo agrees with Tavares. Last month, de Meo proposed a plan to protect Europe against the “onslaught of EVs from China.

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Stellantis CEO on the threat of Chinese EV plants in Italy
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