The Threat of Chinese EV Plants in Italy: Insights from Stellantis CEO

Stellantis NV CEO Carlos Tavares clarified the company’s stance on Chinese electric vehicle brands coming to Italy and refuted rumors of shutting down production and leaving the country. Tavares emphasized that Stellantis is investing over €5 billion in Italy and will bring 15 new models to the market. Tavares expressed concerns about Italian politicians’ discussions with Chinese automakers and drew parallels to previous instances where European car brands were sold to Chinese companies. He assured that Stellantis and Alfa Romeo would not face a similar fate.

There have been speculations about Stellantis relocating production from Italy to reduce costs and compete with Chinese automakers. The Italian government has been in talks with American EV maker Tesla and China’s BYD about production in Italy. Tavares acknowledged that if a Chinese EV manufacturer establishes a production plant in Italy, Stellantis may have to make “unpopular decisions” and warned about potential casualties. The CEO highlighted the impact of the EV shift on Stellantis’ workforce in other countries, citing layoffs in France and the United States as examples.

Stellantis has already cut over 200 workers from its supplemental manufacturing workforce in Detroit. Renault CEO Luca de Meo shares Tavares’ concerns about Chinese companies entering the European market.

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