Stellantis Emphasized The Need For Scientific Breakthroughs On The EV Front


After an already weak year, Stellantis N.V. STLA reported its sales continued to decline during the first three months of 2024. Its Detroit peer, General Motors GM also reported its sales contracted during the same period, while Ford Motor F was among the rare few who reported that sales rose. Even the EV king, Tesla Inc TSLA had a messy quarter with deliveries declining for the first time in almost four years.  Moreover, Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, raised some concerns regarding the wide EV adoption during the automaker’s 2024 Freedom Mobility Forum.

Stellantis’ first quarter sales.

On April 3rd, a day after the planned date of the sales announcement, the European automaker revealed it sold 332,540 vehicles. Stellantis’ sales contracted 10% YoY, while 2023’s comparable quarter already dropped 9% YoY compared to 2022’s comparable period. On a brighter note, Jeep, Chrysler, and Fiat sales rose 2%, 9%, and 12%, respectively. On the other hand, Dodge sales contracted 16%, while Ram sales tanked 26% YoY. 

New science shows that the automotive industry needs a breakthrough.

During the company’s Freedom of Mobility Forum, Tavares stated that for electrification to be meaningful, the industry will have to reduce the weight of EV batteries by 50% over the next decade. In terms of cells' power density, the automotive industry needs to make a breakthrough. This advancement would also be part of the solution to the problem of lithium scarcity. Tavares also added that he does not find hydrogen technology as a viable alternative to achieve mass mobility due to the lack of its affordability, which is why it can only be a solution for corporate fleets, and not normal citizens. In other worlds, Tavares’ remarks emphasized the need for the industry to move away from dogmatic thinking. 

As for its global presence, Stellantis is going strong. But, it continues to struggle to maintain its appeal in North America as it continues to resist to the price cutting trend, due to which it enjoyed some of the highest profits among its peers. Despite the weakening sales picture from 2023, Stellantis still reported healthy profits with which it surpassed its competitors. Stellantis will be reporting its first quarter performance on April 30th which will provide more insights into how the first three months of the year turned out.

Even Tesla is having a hard time this year.

With a major drop in EV sales and a less severe dip in production, Tesla reported deliveries that fell short of expectations. Moreover, this negative narrative could suggest that even the mighty Tesla could be losing its grip. While General Motors reported a sales drop of 1.5% on a YoY basis, Ford Motor provided a rare piece of good news with its sales rising % during the first three months of 2024. More importantly, Ford Motor reported the sales surge on the back of a surge in demand for EVs and hybrids. Ford reported its sales in the U.S. rose 6.8% YoY, with hybrids hitting a record. Despite less-than-expected EV demand, Ford still reported EV sales rose as much as 86%, with EVs making 4% of its automotive mix. When it comes to sales growth of Detroit’s Big Three, Stellantis finished the first three months of the year last as its sales fell even more than GM’s. 

DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investing advice.

This article is from an unpaid external contributor. It does not represent Benzinga's reporting and has not been edited for content or accuracy.

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