Stellantis CEO Tavares: ‘We will save our brands and our jobs’
With his first press conference in a very austere setting, Carlos Tavares, the newly appointed CEO of the Stellantis PSA/FCA merger, outlined the great lines of what will be Stellantis.
Stellantis will be formed by no less than 14 brands, all classified ‘iconic’ by the CEO. “Thanks to the fusion, the brands that lacked investments the past years will be able to renounce,” states Tavares. “We will have sister models through the brands that will be less expensive thanks to the synergies in engineering and purchasing.”
Tavares also talked about protecting the jobs of all those employed by the new group. “The social situation would have been dramatic if we hadn’t merged,” says Tavares. “But thanks to our new scale, we will be beneficial. Labor cost represents only 10% of total production cost, which means we can act upon the other 90% before we have to cut into the jobs.”
While unions were already getting nervous about the possible job losses in Italy (FCA) as in France (PSA), the CEO has presented the fusion as a ‘protective shield’ against a possible loss of jobs. Thanks to the €5 billion savings that will be made through synergies of all kinds.
Greater than bigger
Stellantis aims to become ‘greater’ (meaning larger, with more resources) but not to become bigger (meaning fatter, less viable). By doing so, Stellantis wants to reproduce the adagio of PSA for the whole new group: creating and producing cars that are safe, clean, and affordable.
Still this year, ten electrified vehicles will be added to the already existing 29 models.
Return to China
Stellantis is also determined to do better in China. To that end, Tavares has created a strategic team that has to determine where it went wrong for PSA in the world’s biggest market.
“We will try to learn what went wrong and to find a winning strategy,” has declared Tavares. Unlike other continents, China has succeeded in minimalizing the corona pandemic’s effects on its total sales in 2020.
To end, Tavares has once and again ridden his war-horse. He emitted his reserves and doubts on a green policy that only takes the exhaust emissions of CO2 into account and not the entire emission throughout the whole life of a vehicle (from well to wheel to well).
He insisted that many people throughout the world cannot buy an electric car because it’s still too expensive. “It’s the task of the politicians to ensure that vehicles remain affordable,” Tavares reiterated.