S.tellantis wants to withdraw from the Acea association of European lobbies. The parent company Opel announced this on Monday evening. Stellantis, the second European carmaker behind Volkswagen and born from the merger of Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat-Chrysler in early 2021, announced its decision rather haphazardly in a written company statement. The release is therefore expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Acea has clearly spoken out against the vote of the European Parliament last week to ban internal combustion engine cars in the EU from 2035 onwards. However, the individual producers had positioned themselves differently. “Given the volatility and uncertainty, any long-term regulation beyond this decade is premature,” said BMW boss Oliver Zipse, who currently chairs the Acea association. The European Parliament has set an “ambitious but achievable goal”, according to Volkswagen. Mercedes also welcomed the decision “in principle”.
Stellantis, on the other hand, had long stated that it did not want to sell only electric vehicles in markets such as North America, but in Europe from 2030 onwards. For group brands such as Fiat and Opel, this should also apply by the end of the 1920s. The Brussels decision affects the company less than other European competitors.
“Forum for freedom of movement”
Stellantis left open whether Acea’s positioning in terms of end of combustion engines was actually the (only) reason for the declared withdrawal. Founded 30 years ago, the association brings together the 16 largest European manufacturers of cars, trucks, vans and buses and in recent years has opened up to non-European manufacturers “with significant production and research facilities” in the EU. For example, Toyota from Japan is also a member.
As further announced by Stellantis in the aforementioned corporate press release, leaving Acea must also be understood as “a passage from lobbying to a more direct interaction with citizens and stakeholders”. To this end, the group wants to establish a “Forum for Freedom of Mobility”. The goal, held annually, is to discuss how “clean, safe and affordable mobility can be provided to society and how to tackle the challenges of global warming”.
The “Freedom of Movement Forum” is to be planned and coordinated by an “Expert Advisory Board” representing various interest groups from the automotive sector, including mobility and technology providers, academics, politicians and scientists. “These initiatives demonstrate Stellantis’ intention to lead in a changing world,” the company boasts. A spokesperson for Stellantis told FAZ that more details will be announced on the forum “later in the year”
“Access to clean, safe and affordable mobility for citizens around the world is at stake,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in Monday’s statement. The Portuguese had repeatedly warned publicly that the cost of electric vehicles needed to decrease so that middle-class people could continue to afford cars in the future. Tavares has set the current additional costs of electric vehicles at 40 percent compared to cars with combustion engines.