Competitive Edge: Stellantis Embraces Low-Cost Platform for Electric Future

In a strategic move to tap into the burgeoning market of affordable Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) flooding Europe, Stellantis, the automotive giant born from the 2021 merger of France’s PSA and Fiat Chrysler, has announced plans to develop seven models based on a fifth-generation, low-cost platform. This development underscores the company’s commitment to consolidating production across its 14 brands onto four key platforms.


The latest addition to their EV lineup, the Citroen e-C3, was unveiled on Tuesday, boasting a competitive starting price of 23,300 euros ($24,640). This model is built on the “Smart Car” platform, an offshoot of PSA’s CMP platform, strategically designed for cost-effective electric vehicles. The aim is to vie with the growing array of Chinese-manufactured EVs, including Renault’s Dacia Spring.


Renaud Tourte, Stellantis’ head for the Smart Car platform, disclosed that approximately seven forthcoming models will be grounded on this economical platform, predominantly for EVs, with potential adaptations for internal combustion engine variants. The company anticipates introducing an extended version of the e-C3, and two additional brands under the Stellantis umbrella are slated to adopt this platform from 2024.


Looking ahead, insiders suggest the projected release of the Fiat Panda in mid-2024 may also leverage this platform, while Opel, a subsidiary of Stellantis, has signaled its intentions to launch an EV model in the 25,000 euro price range. Although the Smart Car platform is headquartered in Britain, it has the flexibility to be established in other European or Moroccan facilities.


With a supply chain heavily reliant on low-cost countries, coupled with access to more economical battery technology sourced from China, the Smart Car platform empowers Stellantis to potentially further reduce the e-C3’s price to as low as 20,000 euros for its shorter-range iteration, as outlined by Citroen’s head, Thierry Koskas.


As Stellantis remains committed to cost efficiency and competes for a significant foothold in the rapidly expanding EV sector, their forward-looking strategies position the company as a formidable contender against the influx of Chinese-manufactured vehicles inundating European markets. (Note: $1 = 0.9456 euros)

Source: Reuters

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