Stellantis CEO: “Bloodbath” coming if EV makers follow Tesla and Musk in “race to the bottom”

(Credit: Stellantis)

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has warned that a “bloodbath” is coming if EV makers follow Tesla and Elon Musk in a “race to the bottom.” The Stellantis CEO’s comments came amidst Ford’s announcement that it was scaling back production and trimming its workforce that is producing the F-150 Lightning. 

While BYD exceeded Tesla in raw battery electric vehicle deliveries at the end of 2023, the American EV maker is still one of the world’s undisputed leaders in the electric vehicle sector. To keep Tesla’s vehicles competitive, the automaker has implemented aggressive strategies such as steep price cuts to make its vehicles more affordable to mainstream consumers. 

Such strategies helped Tesla achieve a record year in deliveries, but it also sacrificed profitability. Tesla’s automotive gross margin without regulatory credits in Q3 2023, for one, fell to 16.3% from 27.9% in Q3 2022, as noted in a Fortune report. Elon Musk, for his part, has stated that Tesla would likely need to keep lowering its prices to ensure that customers could afford its vehicles.

As per Tavares during an event in Amsterdam on Friday, he is trying to avoid chasing Elon Musk as he drives Tesla’s prices lower and lower. “If you go and cut pricing disregarding the reality of your costs, you will have a bloodbath. I am trying to avoid a race to the bottom,” the Stellantis CEO said. 

“I know a company that has brutally cut pricing, and their profitability has brutally collapsed,” Tavares also noted without naming Tesla. 

The EV efforts of America’s biggest auto players have taken notable hits. Ford has stated that its electric vehicle business lost about $4.5 billion last year, as noted in a Yahoo Finance report. General Motors (GM) also pulled back on its electric vehicle plans in late October despite stating in the past that it has every intention to dethrone Tesla in the electric vehicle market. 

Tesla’s price cuts have not ended. Just recently, Tesla lowered the prices of the Model Y crossover in several European countries by over $5,000. Similar price adjustments have also been rolled out in China, one of Tesla’s largest and most competitive markets.  

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Stellantis CEO: “Bloodbath” coming if EV makers follow Tesla and Musk in “race to the bottom”
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