Stellantis Group’s Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares expects the company’s revenue to grow faster in India through measures like localisation, as the company plans to launch its first electric vehicle (EV) here next year.
The global automotive major, formed through the merger of French automaker PSA Group and Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will launch the EV under the Citroen brand.
“We are quite confident regarding India. We are working towards localisation. Our first EV will come next year,” Tavares said. The plan is to launch EVs in the compact sub-four metre segment and sports utility vehicle segment in India. Tavares added that the company’s EVs are going to be engineered in India as part of the smart car platform programme of Citroen.
At present, Stellantis sells around 19 EV models across the world. This number will be raised to 32 by next year and 75 by the end of this decade. “The challenge in introducing an EV is twofold. One is the need to charge with clean electricity and another one is affordability. There is a significant price gap between EVs and conventional technology. Basically an EV is 40-50 per cent more expensive than conventional technology,” he said, highlighting the roadblocks for EV expansion in markets like India.
According to the road map, the company plans to make 90 per cent of EVs through localisation. He added that the company may look for tie-ups with local players, if batteries are also available for sourcing in the domestic market.
EVs may constitute 100 per cent of its sales in Europe, 50 per cent in the US, and around 25-30 per cent in India by 2030. “I think that by 2025 EVs are going to be 5 per cent to 10 per cent in terms of the mix, and by the end of the decade, perhaps 25 per cent to 30 per cent,” Tavares said.
The company operates three manufacturing plants in India at Ranjangaon, Maharashtra, and Hosur and Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu. Last year, the company announced investments of around $250 million to grow its presence in India with the launch of four new jeep models.
In the Indian market, western carmakers struggle to make a mark because of losses. “Being profitable in India is possible if you think the Indian way – being smart and frugal,” Tavares said.