LAS VEGAS — Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares sees the European auto business at a crossroads in competitors with its Chinese language rivals.

If politicians in Europe don’t discover a solution to the push into Europe by Chinese language automakers, there will likely be a “horrible combat,” Tavares informed Automobilwoche on the sidelines of CES 2023 in Las Vegas.

Europe’s auto business could possibly be compelled to massively cut back its manufacturing capability within the face of rising competitors from China, Tavares mentioned.

Chinese language firms are increasing in Europe with aggressive and aggressively priced autos, Tavares added.

“The value distinction between European and Chinese language autos is important. If nothing is modified within the present scenario, European prospects from the center class will more and more flip to Chinese language fashions. The buying energy of many individuals in Europe is lowering noticeably.”

Tavares’s feedback echo these of  Forvia CEO Patrick Koller, who mentioned in Las Vegas that European automakers should develop reasonably priced small battery-electric autos for city use.

Europe’s emissions regulatory regime will not be serving to the area’s automakers, Tavares mentioned.

“Regulation in Europe ensures that electrical automobiles inbuilt Europe are about 40 % dearer than comparable autos made in China,” he mentioned.

If the European Union doesn’t change the present scenario, the area’s auto business will undergo the identical destiny because the European photo voltaic panel business, Tavares warned. “I feel we have seen this film earlier than. It is a very bleak state of affairs. Nevertheless it would not must go that approach.”

SAIC’s MG, BYD, Geely’s Zeekr and Nio are amongst Chinese language automakers focusing on European customers with their electrical automobiles.

‘Unpopular choices’

There are two paths the Europeans may take, Tavares mentioned.

“In case you maintain the European market open, then we now have no alternative: we now have to combat the Chinese language straight. And that applies to your entire automotive worth chain.”

The implications would then be important, he mentioned. “That might inevitably result in unpopular choices.”

Capacities must be minimize and vegetation must be relocated to extra favorable areas.

Another choice, Tavares mentioned, is to “re-industrialize” Europe, to convey again misplaced industries and manufacturing chains. 

“If you’d like that, nevertheless, there may be nonetheless quite a bit to do within the EU, you then would wish a unique commerce coverage.”

German business particularly wouldn’t be enthusiastic a few commerce coverage setting limits on China as a result of it could massively have an effect on European actions in China, Tavares mentioned.

“Finally, this problem is akin to squaring the circle. Within the present context, if nothing is completed within the European Union, there will likely be a horrible combat,” he mentioned.