Stellantis CEO warns: Chinese language EV plant in Italy poses menace, ‘we’re prepared and we are going to battle’

Stellantis NV Chief Govt Officer Carlos Tavares warned he might must make “unpopular decisions” if a Chinese language electric-vehicle producer had been to arrange store in Italy.

Such a transfer would threaten Stellantis and end in “significant social consequences,” Tavares stated Wednesday in Turin. If larger Chinese competition had been to value the corporate market share, the maker of Fiats and Alfa Romeos might have fewer vegetation in Italy, the CEO stated.

“We are ready and we will fight, but when there’s a fight you may have casualties,” Tavares instructed reporters. “Don’t expect to come out of the fight without scars.”

The CEO is overhauling Stellantis’s industrial footprint — together with with stringent cost reductions — at a time when governments in Europe are attempting to guard native industries put in danger by the shift to EVs. In Italy, Stellantis has faced criticism over deliberations to maneuver manufacturing to lower-cost nations. Tavares met with native unions Wednesday forward of a strike deliberate for Friday to protest the producer’s plans to chop hundreds of jobs within the nation.

The Italian authorities, in the meantime, has held discussions with automakers together with Tesla Inc. about producing within the nation, Business Minister Adolfo Urso stated in February. Rome additionally contacted China’s BYD Co., an official from China’s main EV maker stated that very same month.

Tavares on Wednesday pledged to increase manufacturing of Fiat Pandas in southern Italy till 2030 and dedicated €100 million ($108 million) to develop a extra reasonably priced battery for the electrical Fiat 500. “We are here to stay,” he stated, including that discuss of Stellantis leaving Italy is “fake news.”

The CEO has been counting on value cuts to make Stellantis leaner and bolster revenue, citing pressures from the EV shift as motive to skinny workforce in nations together with France and the US.

In Italy, Stellantis plans to remove round 3,700 jobs, based on the Fiom union. The automaker has declined to touch upon the precise variety of workers modifications however has stated any departures will likely be on a voluntary foundation.

EV demand has cratered in Italy for the reason that begin of the 12 months, as consumers wait for brand new subsidies that Rome flagged in late 2023.

“Many promises have been made to Italian consumers to facilitate access to electric vehicles, but despite the promises, the incentives have not yet been released,” Tavares stated.

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