Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares lays out tech vision at CES

LAS VEGAS — At CES on Thursday, Stellantis unveiled a broader vision for the future, including entering the electric pickup market, revolutionizing the use of self-driving technology for off-road jeeps, and creating a separate division to grow “data as a service.” announced. ” jobs.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares also noted that the automaker is looking to the skies through a partnership with Archer Aviation. Electric aircraft are a form of transportation that he sees as having the potential to provide freedom of movement for people in urban environments.

In his keynote, Tavares said Stellantis is becoming a “mobility tech company” and wants to improve the way people move, socialize and play. The company is huge, but it has a startup soul, he said.

Tavares’ lofty speech attempted to explain the position of automakers in the world.

“The need to innovate for our future has never been greater. Companies must be transformative and profitable at the same time. It must be so moving,” he said. “Humans, first and foremost, seek reassurance in this uncertain and chaotic world that is beset by crisis after crisis.”

Allows more plants to idle

Tavares, meanwhile, said Stellantis may shut down additional assembly plants to cope with electrification costs for its lineup as well as rising inflation.

“We cannot absorb the additional costs of electrification unless we optimize our cost structure,” Tavares told reporters at CES. “If the market shrinks, we don’t need that many plants. We’re going to have to make some unpopular decisions.”

The automaker announced last month that it would close its Jeep manufacturing plant in Belvidere, Illinois, starting February 28. Still, Tavares said Stellantis could “adapt” its factory decisions if demand for cars picks up.

europe vs china

On another topic, Tavares said he sees the European auto industry at a crossroads in competition with Chinese rivals.

If European politicians can’t find an answer to Chinese automakers’ forays into Europe, there will be a “bad fight”, Tavares said. car week A bystander at CES. car week is an affiliate of car news.

The European auto industry could be forced to cut production capacity sharply in the face of increased competition from China, Tavares said.

Chinese automakers are pushing into Europe with competitive and aggressively priced vehicles, Tavares added.

“The price gap between European and Chinese cars is huge. If the current situation continues, middle-class European customers will increasingly switch to Chinese cars. Purchasing power for many Europeans has declined significantly.”

Tavares’ comments echo those of Forvia CEO Patrick Koller, who said in Las Vegas that European automakers need to develop affordable, small battery electric vehicles for urban use. I was.

Europe’s emission control regime is not helping local automakers, Tavares said.

big star today

Stellantis’ biggest star of the day was the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept pickup, which took to the stage to embody an aesthetic that designers consider savage and beautiful.

Ram CEO Mike Koval, who unveiled the pickups on Thursday, said the concept’s design sets the tone for the next generation of Ram products.

The concept features technologies such as an artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant, a “shadow mode” in which the truck uses sensors and cameras to track the driver, smart home controls, and an intelligent storage app that Ram says. Users measure objects to determine if they can be transported by vehicle.

Innovation didn’t stop at Ram. Tavares highlighted how the Jeep’s off-road capabilities can enhance his adventures.

For example, Tavares said he has a vision of self-driving jeeps picking up their owners down the road.

Ram wasn’t the only concept to hit the stage. Peugeot CEO Linda Jackson has debuted a futuristic-looking Inception EV with a design she called “the future of cats.” According to Jackson, Inception has “the magnetic calmness and attitude of a big cat ready for spring.”

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