The semiconductor shortage has disrupted the automotive industry in more ways than one, forcing many carmakers to prioritise the manufacturing of more expensive models over more affordable ones for higher profit margins.
Stellantis, the multinational conglomerate that reunites a total of 14 American, Italian and French brands under the same roof, makes no exception. Since there’s a limited number of semiconductors available at the moment, the group has decided to prioritise the manufacturing of electric vehicles in Europe over combustion-engine models.
The main reason behind the decision is the fact that European customers seem to respond to measures local governments are taking to promote EV purchases, such as significant subsidies. However, one should not overlook the fact that EVs tend to be more expensive than their ICE counterparts, meaning that Stellantis stands to make more money from this.
Here's what the company's head of e-mobility, Anne-Lise Richard, told Automotive News on this topic in an interview in Milan.
"We will continue to manage all powertrains together but EVs come first. We see more customers that are willing to buy EVs now.”
Gallery: Stellantis electrification roadmap
Demand for EVs has accelerated throughout Europe as generous government incentives have made battery-powered cars attractive relative to traditional vehicles. Programmes vary from country to country, with buyers in Germany among the most favoured as they can slice €9,000 (£7,700) off the sticker price of a fully electric car.
Formed from the merger of PSA Groupe and Fiat Chrysler in January this year, Stellantis is betting big on EVs, having pledged to spend €30 billion (£25.6 billion) on electric vehicles and software.
As part of this strategy, all Stellantis brands will launch full-electric vehicles, including Peugeot, Citroën, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram, while Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Opel/Vauxhall, Lancia and DS Automobiles will switch to battery-only cars.
At the moment, Stellantis offers no all-electric model in the United States, but has no fewer than 14 EVs in Europe—although none of them uses an EV-exclusive platform. Those include Peugeot’s e-208, e-2008, e-Rifter, and e-Traveller, Citroën’s Ami, Ë-C4, Ë-Berlingo, and Ë-Spacetourer, the DS3 Crossback E-Tense, Opel/Vauxhall’s Corsa-e, Combo-e, Zafira-e, and Vivaro-e, and Fiat’s 500 Electric.
During the first half of 2021, electrified models made up 14 percent of Stellantis deliveries in Europe, and only 4 percent in the US. By 2030, the carmaker expects the share to rise to 70 percent and 40 percent, respectively.