Electric Car

Stellantis to invest more than US$35.5 billion to electrify vehicle lineup

Stellantis, the world’s No. 4 automaker, says that by 2030, all 14 of its vehicle brands will offer fully electrified vehicles across the world, with new offerings from Dodge and Ram expected to be key focal points, especially in North America.

The company said Thursday that it’s projecting 40 per cent of its U.S. sales by that time will be electrified vehicles.

The high-octane Dodge brand is finally stepping into the world of electrification with a battery electric muscle car that’s slated to arrive in 2024. Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said the brand will respond to the “sea of change in the marketplace” and embrace electrification.

Dodge trimmed its lineup to three vehicles beginning with the 2021 model year, ending production for the long-running Caravan minivan and Journey utility vehicle in 2020. The Grand Caravan is now part of the Chrysler brand and sold only in Canada. It’s still built in Windsor, Ont., alongside the Chrysler Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid and Chrysler Voyager for the U.S. market.

“Every ounce of technology we integrate will be done to amplify the elements that define not just Dodge, but the muscle car itself,” Kuniskis said during the automaker’s EV Day presentation Thursday. “Through intelligent evolution, we expect to thrive and define the future of American Muscle — to tear up the street, not the planet.”

Stellantis builds the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger in Brampton, Ont., alongside the Chrysler 300 sedan. When asked Thursday, the automaker didn’t say if new electrified muscle cars will be assembled at the same plant.

“We are committed to the EV market as outlined today however, it’s too soon to discuss further details,” spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin said in an email to Automotive News Canada.

Ram will be making the EV leap alongside Dodge when it launches production of a battery electric 1500 pickup in 2024.

Brand CEO Mike Koval said Ram isn’t “following in the footsteps” of competitors who are launching electric pickups a few years ahead of them. Ford’s F-150 Lightning goes on sale next spring, while General Motors launches the Hummer EV pickup later this year.

Koval said Ram is planning to roll out electrification across the lineup.

“Ram will offer a fully-electrified solution in the majority of our segments by 2025, and a full portfolio of electric solutions for all of our segments no later than 2030,” Koval said, “because it is our responsibility to serve our loyal following of Ram owners who believe in our products and who are proud to wear our badge today, but also bringing a greater number of new customers to our brand by continuing to be bold and challenging tradition.”

AGGRESSIVE INVESTMENTS

Stellantis said it plans to invest more than 30 billion euros (US$35.54 billion) through 2025 on electrifying its vehicle lineup.

The automaker will have four BEV platforms that offer ranges from 300 miles to 500 miles.

The company, which was formed in January from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA, said its strategy will be supported by five battery plants in Europe and North America as it gears up to compete with EV leader Tesla and other automakers globally.

“This transformation period is a wonderful opportunity to reset the clock and start a new race,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said on a webcast.

Stellantis said it is targeting more than 70 per cent of sales in Europe and over 40 per cent in the U.S. to be low-emission vehicles — either battery or hybrid electric — by 2030.

It said all 14 of its vehicle brands, including Peugeot, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Opel, will offer fully electrified vehicles.

BULLISH PROFIT SIGNAL

Earlier, Stellantis flagged that 2021 got off to a better-than-expected start despite a chip shortage that has hit automakers worldwide.

The company said its first-half margins on adjusted operating profits were expected to exceed an annual target of between 5.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent.

Positive pricing and product mix helped it to expect a “strong margin performance” in the first half, Stellantis said in an earlier statement ahead of its EV strategy event.

“The global Stellantis team has also responded strongly to volume constraints caused by semiconductor shortages, implementing very effective cost control measures,” the automaker said.

Stellantis said that, in line with previous forecasts, it expected a negative industrial free cash flow in the first half, also caused by the negative impact of lower than planned production volumes.

It added, however, that synergies were well on track to exceed the first year’s target, helping to “materially contribute to the full year cash flow performance, which is still expected to be positive.”

Stellantis has promised more than 5 billion euros (US$5.9 billion) in annual synergies from the merger.

Vince Bond Jr. and Reuters contributed to this report.

 

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