Automotive: Stellantis downsizes in China

Stellantis, the car manufacturer, (ex-PSA) is abandoning the manufacture of its Jeeps in China. This is an important strategic shift.

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The partnership, the joint venture that Stellantis had with a Chinese group was, in recent years, loss-making. It was however 12 years since this alliance, the European manufacturer produced and sold Jeeps in China. But the results were disappointing with only 20,000 Jeeps sold in China. At the beginning of the year, to restructure the activities, Stellantis wanted to take a majority share in the joint venture, and to increase the capital, from 50 to 75%, but the Chinese blocked it.

Result: Stellantis has decided to completely withdraw its marbles. The brand will still sell Jeeps in China, but they will be produced elsewhere. Stellantis will export them. Especially since there will be more and more electric models.

The group already estimates the loss on the results of the first half at 300 million euros. But no matter, Stellantis is reviewing its strategy in the country which remains the world’s largest automotive market. The manufacturer will continue to sell Peugeots, Citro├źns, luxury cars too, Maseratis. Stellantis will keep its Chinese joint venture with Dongfeng but exercise more caution. Stellantis will remain present in China, but there is no longer any question of investing too much there, as before. The geopolitical risks are too high. In the automotive sector, the example of Renault, which has massively invested in Russia, only to have to leave because of the war in Ukraine almost overnight, is on everyone’s mind.

In addition, at this time, Stellantis is reviewing its organization to make a success of its total conversion to electricity, and the manufacturer is transforming and investing in these French factories instead. For example, the group is preparing to market a new generation of electric motors that it will produce in France, near Metz.

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