Salem Radio Network News Thursday, August 5, 2021

Science

Stellantis makes 30 billion euro bet on electric vehicle market

By Giulio Piovaccari

MILAN (Reuters) -Stellantis, the world’s No. 4 automaker, said on Thursday it plans to invest more than 30 billion euros ($35.54 billion) through 2025 on electrifying its vehicle lineup.

The company, which was formed in January from the merger of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA, said its strategy will be supported by five battery plants in Europe and North America as it gears up to compete with electric vehicle (EV) leader Tesla and other automakers globally.

“This transformation period is a wonderful opportunity to reset the clock and start a new race,” Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on a webcast. “The group is at full speed on its electrification journey.”

Stellantis said at its “EV Day 2021” that it is targeting more than 70% of sales in Europe and over 40% in the United States to be low-emission vehicles – either battery or hybrid electric – by 2030.

It said all 14 of its vehicle brands – including Peugeot, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Opel – will offer fully electrified vehicles.

Stellantis said on Thursday that one of the five battery plants will be at its engine facility in Termoli, Italy, joining previously announced factories in Germany and France. The automaker has also said it will put one in the United States.

At a similar EV strategy event last week, French rival Renault said 90% of its main brand models would be all-electric by 2030, whereas previously it had included hybrids in its target.

Germany’s Volkswagen, the world’s second-biggest automaker after Toyota, expects all-electric vehicles to account for 55% of its total sales in Europe by 2030, and more than 70% of sales at its Volkswagen brand.

General Motors Co said last month it planned to spend $35 billion through 2025 on electric and self-driving vehicles. It has set a target of selling all new light cars and trucks with zero tailpipe emissions by 2035.

Earlier, Stellantis flagged that 2021 got off to a better-than-expected start despite a global semiconductor chip shortage.

Stellantis said its margins on adjusted operating profits in the first half of 2021 were expected to exceed an annual target of between 5.5% and 7.5%, despite production losses due to the semiconductor supply crunch.

It said synergies from its merger were well on track to exceed the first year’s target and would help to contribute to a positive cash flow for the year as a whole. Stellantis has promised more than 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in annual synergies.

Shares of Stellantis were down more than 3% in Milan, in step with a sharp drop on European equities markets.

($1 = 0.8442 euros)

(Additional reporting by Clement Martinot, and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Agnieszka Flak, David Clarke and Paul Simao)

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