Group plans slew of new launches including an electric car

Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Dutch-headquartered Stellantis Group, the new entity after the merger of French automaker PSA Group and Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, announced an “Indian technological and innovation” approach to stay competitive and achieve profitable growth in India. 

Globally, the group has set a target to double its current revenue of €152 billion by 2030, while sustaining a double-digit AOI (adjusted operating income) margin during the period. In line with its ‘Dare Forward 2030’ global plan, the group eyes to grow in India. 

“Stellantis Group, which sells passenger vehicles under Jeep and Citroen brands in India though it owns 14 brands globally, will not go away like some of the western brands, which came and left India,” Tavares said during an interaction. 

The group is gearing up for its product offensive here as it is preparing to a launch pure electric car next year, a sub-four-meter SUV, an MPV, among others, under the Citroen brand. All its upcoming new ICE models will also have electric variants. Jeep has been focusing on C & D segments of the SUV market while more new products are in pipeline under the Jeep brand.

‘Doing it the Indian way’

Tavares indicated that the group was looking for a long journey in India.

“Yes, there is a record of people coming and leaving Indian automotive market. The reason why some of the western car makers failed is because they did not recognise that they had to do the Indian way. One needs to be smart, and frugal and also understand what customers in India want,” Tavares told BusinessLine.  

Discussing in detail, Tavares pointed out that many of the cars brought by the OEMs here had features and equipment that would not be totally valued by the Indian customers, and therefore, they wouldn’t pay for that.

“This is the reason that we engineer our cars in India,” he said. “This is the reason we have our powertrain factory here. If one doesn’t localise the vehicle platform, engine, and gearboxes, it will not be possible to achieve a localisation of 95 per cent. Also, one needs to engineer the cars with features for which Indian customers are willing to pay, not the things they may not be interested in.”  

Stating that its powertrain factory in Hosur is one of its benchmarks in the world, he said India is a place of not just technology but also innovation. “We believe that we can innovate out of India in different ways,” Tavares said.

Its upcoming EV would also be engineered in India under its smart platform and the group expects a 5-10 per cent share of EVs in its sales by 2025 in India. However, it sees scope for the EV mix to grow to 25-30 per cent by 2030. The sales of EVs will be limited in the initial period due to the absence of sourcing from India.  

Published on May 18, 2022