Stellantis celebrates its first birthday. On January 18 and 19, 2021, a little over a year after the formalization of the merger project, the group born from the PSA and the FCA entered the Paris, Milan and New York stock exchanges. During this first year of life together, what has changed? Ordinary motorists can say that they do not see a difference.
Logic, as we already noted with Renaulution’s one-year anniversary, automobiles are a long-running industry, with many years passing between behind-the-scenes decisions and what we find in dealerships. The first twelve months of Stellantis and its president Carlos Tavares built the foundations of this giant with 14 brands.
Brands gathered in several poles
The official birth was accompanied by the introduction of the new management team with several movements within the departments. For example, Jean-Philippe Imbrato moved from Peugeot to Alfa Romeo.
The brands were also placed in “pillar” groups according to their market position: Citroën with Fiat, Peugeot with Opel, DS with Alfa Romeo and Lancia. Within these groups, the companies will implement a strategy dear to Carlos Tavares: the sister car, i.e. the shared car as much as possible. This is the case in the new Peugeot 308 and Opel Astra, where everything invisible is common. This is the main interest of marriage: getting maximum synergies to save money.
Carlos Tavares made a promise at the launch of Stellantis: Every brand will get their chance, so there’s no doubt walking alongside labels, even the worst like Chrysler. But concrete information about their future is becoming scarce in 2021. To find out more, the group gives us a date of March 1, 2022, with the presentation of a long-term strategic plan. We hope to learn more about building future domains.
Only four platforms for everyone
One thing is for sure: there will be a flood of electricity. Because Stellantis did not wait to discuss the roadmap for its electric, and organized a dedicated conference in July 2021. On this occasion, Stellantis announced the start of construction of four new platforms designed for electric vehicles, able to meet all the needs of the 14 brands, from the affordable city car to Big pickup truck. The next generation of the 3008, expected in 2023, will open the first. We also know that Alfa Romeo, DS, Lancia and Opel will be all electric before 2028. 2030 will be for Fiat.
The transition to electricity imposed by European regulations, which Carlos Tavares did not fail to address again in an interview today with Les Echos. For him, in the context of energy transmission, Electrification is the technology of choice for politicians, not industry.. This prevents groups from proposing other solutions to reduce emissions, solutions that may be cheaper and give cars more affordable prices than electric ones. Carlos Tavares, too “Social Consequences” For this European political choice, with the middle classes no longer able to buy these cars.
He also warns from another side: the impacts are in the factories, which must turn at high speed, the electric car requires fewer workers to assemble, it needs fewer parts, and therefore less money. – Contractors. However, Carlos Tavares has committed from the outset not to close any site, a prerequisite for getting the green lights before the merger.
But activities are being reorganized to adapt to electricity and future joint ventures between brands. There will also be movements related to new activities in the auto industry, such as battery production or connected technologies. In December 2021, Stellantis presented its “software” strategy, to make the group more digital with connected services and products that should create €30 billion in sales by 2030.
Because it’s clear that Carlos Tavares’ specialty is making the group profitable in very expensive ways. In particular, he attacked the contracts of merchants in Europe, where some of them were expelled, and others were forced to become clients by force. In Les Échos, he also states: “I think we no longer need, to provide models, to galleries of 2000 square meters that are real cathedrals!” Another huge project: to cut production costs for the Fiat part.
But the magic wand of Carlos Tavares is working: in the first half of 2021, while the automotive world was in the midst of a storm, with an increase in raw materials and a shortage of electronic components, the group posted an operating margin of 11.4%!