Automotive: Stellantis considers stopping car production in the United Kingdom

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The car manufacturer (formerly PSA Peugeot Citroën) indicated on Tuesday that it will carry out its threat if the British government does not sufficiently support the electric car.
The decision has not yet been made and the group remains open to discussions, but the warning shot has been fired. The Franco-Italian-American manufacturer Stellantis, parent company of Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Opel, Vauxhall and Maserati in particular, has two main manufacturing sites across the Channel: one in the north of England, the other in Luton, north of London. On these two production sites, Stellantis has undertaken major investments and the management made this clear on Tuesday, June 25, during a press conference in London: “if the market becomes hostile for us, then we will consider producing elsewhere”. “We need support”, it insists.

The heart of the problem is the Labour Party’s project, which was given the victory in the British general election on July 4 against the current Conservative government. Labour plans to bring forward the ban on the sale of new cars running on petrol and diesel by five years. Europe has set this target for 2035. British Labour would therefore bring it back to 2030 to accelerate the energy transition. But the target is untenable in the eyes of Stellantis, for whom the transition from thermal engines to electric vehicles cannot be done so quickly. Implied, this would be industrial madness, with serious consequences for employment.

Demands of the sector

The entire British automotive sector is first demanding stability in legislation. Unlike politics, the industry plans for the long term and not with rules that change constantly according to the moods of some and others. The sector is also asking for public financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. He estimates that halving VAT over the next three years would allow several hundred thousand additional cars to be put on the road. This is not the first time that Stellantis has waved the red flag in the United Kingdom. A little over a year ago, the group had already threatened to close factories if London and Brussels did not agree to cancel a 10% surcharge on electric cars manufactured in England and crossing the Channel after Brexit. On this point, Stellantis won the case, it remains to be seen whether the group will win its new fight.

This article is originally published on radiofrance.fr

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