France leads EU’s electric vehicle charge as Stellantis posts huge uptick in sales

France leads EU’s electric vehicle charge as Stellantis posts huge uptick in sales |

Car giant Stellantis, with most of its workforce in France, announced a 7% year-on-year sales increase on Tuesday, driven by a 37% rise in electric car sales, as the EU, with France in the driver’s seat, bets on home-grown electric vehicles (EVs) to counter China’s e-car offensive.

Stellantis, created in 2021 from the merger of Italian-American Fiat-Chrysler and French PSA, announced an 11% sales hike and a 7% rise in revenue for the third quarter of this year. While its revenue now stands at €45.1 billion, the conglomerate’s EV sales rose by 37%, mainly due to its popular Jeep Avenger, Citroën Ami and Peugeot E-208 models.

“We secured second place in Europe over Tesla” in overall EU sales, Chief Financial Officer Natalie Knight told the group’s General Assembly, referring to it trailing behind Germany’s Volkswagen.

“We are doing everything we can to further our [efforts], all the while responding to key short-term sector challenges and continuing our electric and technological transformation,” Knight said.

Before turning to EVs, the Dutch-headquartered company was among the loudest critics of the EU’s decision to restrict the sale of new petrol and combustion engine vehicles after 2035.

Stellantis Chief Carlos Tavares was quoted in Le Monde at the Paris Motor Show in 2022 calling the combustion engine phase-out “dogmatic” and decrying it as “an organised movement against the automobile”.

Hottest industrial race

The announcement came just a day after Chinese EV leader BYD announced a significant increase in quarterly profit gains over the past year, with an 82% year-on-year increase, rising to $1.42 billion (€1.34 billion).

EV production has become one of the hottest industrial races, as China has taken the lead in the past 15 years and is pushing for its cheaper vehicles to be sold on the EU market. With Chinese brands having attained 8% of the EU’s electric vehicle market in 2022, European Commission data shows they could increase it to 15% by 2025.

France, home to auto giant Renault and a sizeable workforce at Stellantis, has always kept a close eye on China – and is leading the EU’s charge to produce more electric cars domestically.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a new €100 per month leasing scheme for EU-made electric cars days after his government announced the roll-out of new cash incentives for first-time EV buyers, but made conditional on French or EU production.

“A car made in China with coal-produced electricity will not benefit from the green bonus,”  Energy Transition Minister Pannier-Runacher said at the time.

Following months of lobbying by the French, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in September that she would launch a new EU-level anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs.

(Theo Bourgery-Gonse |

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