Stellantis stopped lobbying in Europe

This is a small twist at the end more representative than the removal of ACEA. Stellantis will stop all lobbying activities in Europe, as confirmed by Carlos Tavares, who believes that nothing more should be expected from Europe: “we can’t wait for government decisions, we have to run faster than regulations“. A strange strategy for a group that is gradually leaving most of the traditional activities of the major European manufacturers to make its own grub. Indeed, if the lobbying ends, Stellantis will not give up influence through communication.

A forum instead of lobbying

Lobbying, this activity is refuted by many NGOs, is almost a tradition in Europe for most large companies, federations, associations and any grouping of interests such as… the ACEA. Most car brands use it to try to influence Brussels. But the EU decided to strengthen the tone on the end of the combustion engine and the acceleration of electrification, which Carlos Tavares has long denounced.

We have replaced lobbying activities and our presence at ACEA (European Automobile Association) with a different approach“, confirmed a spokesman. The relative disintegration of ACEA with the departure of Volvo and Stellantis is already a symptom of the loss of speed of automotive lobbying in Europe, which is not listened to much by political decision makers .

Instead of lobbying, Stellantis will create its “Forum for Mobility”, a kind of good exchange between several players in the automotive world to discuss the future. It is a broad public dialogue with stakeholders from all areas, where for Stellantis the argument with facts is a central point in the discussion on environmental standards.

Tavares is afraid of China

MG4s are starting to pop up on our roads© MG

On the sidelines of CES, Carlos Tavares spoke with our colleagues from Automobilwoche. The CEO of Stellantis recalled that Europe leaves a gaping hole for the Chinese.

There is a big price difference between European and Chinese cars. Unless the current situation changes, mid-range European customers will increasingly turn to Chinese models. The purchasing power of many people in Europe is declining significantly. European electric cars are about 40% more expensive than their Chinese rivals. If you keep the European market open, we have no choice: then we have to fight the Chinese directly. And this applies to the entire automotive value chain. This will inevitably lead to unpopular decisions“.

German industry in particular would not be enthusiastic about such a trade policy, which sets limits on China, as it would have a significant impact on European activities in China.“. And especially the Germans, whose luxury depends heavily on the Chinese market.

End of concessions, end of discounts: what awaits you soon in some brands

However, it should be noted that Stellantis has seen its margins explode over the past two years, even as BMW doubles. The desire to drastically reduce discounts, reduce costs and increase prices was also initiated in Peugeot and other brands even before the pandemic and ingredient shortages. In addition, Stellantis also announced the elimination of 20% of sales points in France by 2023, as part of a restructuring aimed at better controlling the sales price to the customer.

If mid-range European buyers are hypothetically switching to Chinese in the future (nothing is more certain), it may also be because Stellantis and others have abandoned less profitable cars. … and the cheapest.

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