Stellantis looks to India to make affordable EVs

STORY: Fiat parent Stellantis has concluded it can’t make affordable electric vehicles in Europe.

Instead, it’s looking at lower-cost manufacturing in markets such as India.

That’s according to chief executive Carlos Tavares.

He told reporters that if India can meet the company’s quality and cost targets by the end of 2023, it could provide opportunities to export EVs to other markets.

With brands that also include Peugeot, Citroen and Jeep, Stellantis is investing heavily in EVs and plans to produce dozens of electric models in the next decade.

But Tavares warned last month that affordable battery-powered cars were between five and six years away.

Tavares' possible bet on India comes after American carmakers Ford and General Motors exited the country, the fourth-largest car market.

They failed to break the dominance of Japan's Suzuki and South Korea's Hyundai.

Meanwhile, Chinese EV makers are making inroads into Europe, aiming to win over buyers with more affordable cars.

Stellantis already makes its own electric motors and battery packs, and has plans to make battery cells.

In India, Tavares wants to locally procure EV components, including batteries, so it can be competitive on cost and price.