The Stellantis name may be new in the auto industry, but the mega automotive conglomerate created in January 2021 has plenty of iconic brands and combined expertise. Stellantis is the new company formed by the merger of France’s Groupe PSA and the Italian-American auto conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA.
The fourth-largest automaker in the world is dealing with lots of changes facing the entire auto industry, including the global shortage of microchips, the fast-emerging electric vehicle market, and the changing mobility preferences of car buyers after two years of a pandemic.
We reached out to the global brand to learn more about what to expect from the company that now has 14 auto brands encompassing luxury, premium, and mainstream passenger vehicles, along with pickup trucks, SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles), and commercial vehicles. Stellantis’ spokespeople answered our questions and provided additional insight from Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.
Feel free to compare their answers to the feedback we received from Mitsubishi earlier this year.
Q: As an automotive manufacturer, what vehicles or technologies are you most excited about that car shoppers should also be getting excited about?
A: Back in December we mapped out a software strategy to deploy next-generation tech platforms, building on existing connected vehicle capabilities to transform how customers interact with their vehicles, and to generate approximately $21.5 billion (about $66 per person in the U.S.) in incremental annual revenue by 2030.
This transformation will move Stellantis’ vehicles from today’s dedicated electronic architectures to an open software-defined platform that seamlessly integrates with customers’ digital lives. It greatly expands the options customers have to add innovative features and services via regular over-the-air (OTA) updates. This keeps vehicles fresh, exciting, and updated years after they have been built.
“Our electrification and software strategies will support the shift to become a sustainable mobility tech company to lead the pack, leveraging the associated business growth with over-the-air features and services and delivering the best experience to our customers,” said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. “With the three all-new, AI-powered, technology platforms to arrive in 2024, deployed across the four STLA vehicle platforms, we will leverage the speed and agility associated with the decoupling of hardware and software cycles.”
The Stellantis software strategy works together with the company’s “Dare Forward 2030” campaign, its bold strategic plan for the coming decade that will drive Stellantis employees to be ‘second to none’ in value creation for all stakeholders.
Q: What is your favorite vehicle in your lineup right now and why?
A: With Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram brands in North America, it’s hard to play favorites.
Q: The truck market has never been hotter. Not just full-size and mid-size, but there’s also a re-emergence of mini trucks too. Tell us why consumers should consider buying one of yours.
A: The no-compromise Ram 1500 defines the future of pickup trucks with innovative design, the highest quality materials, class-exclusive technology, and the widest use of mild hybrid technology in the segment. The Ram Heavy Duty combines the ability to out-power, out-tow, and out-haul every single competitor with the segment’s most comfortable ride and handling.
Ram is committed to product leadership with a full lineup, including ProMaster and ProMaster City vans, that consists of the most fuel-efficient 4x4s and the quickest, fastest, and most powerful pickup truck straight from the factory. With a full lineup of trucks and vans, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go.
Q: The entire auto industry is going through a huge shift toward electric vehicles. Can you explain some of the advantages of EV (Electric Vehicle) ownership? And what are the advantages of owning the EVs in your line-up?
A: The customer is at the heart of everything we do at Stellantis and our customers are telling us they want EV technology in their future vehicles. Electrified propulsion is a key part of the Stellantis commitment to be carbon net-zero by 2038 and to cut our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Our EV technologies enable cutting-edge mobility and vehicles that will redefine the driving and ownership experience, while also maintaining the unique capabilities and traits associated with each of our iconic brands.
Q: Will you be exhibiting at any of the upcoming big Auto Shows (Detroit? NY? LA? etc.) so that consumers can check out your newest releases?
A: Consumers can always find us at all the major auto shows. That includes Detroit, NY, LA, and of course Chicago, to name a few.
Q: Do you have any big announcements coming up that you can share with car shoppers right now?
A: We have recently announced these future vehicles, including:
- Long-wheelbase versions of both our Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer – and all-new, twin-turbo V-6 Hurricane engines to power them
- The Alfa Romeo Tonale compact SUV
- The Chrysler Airflow Concept, providing a preview of the brand’s future, while also representing the future of connected vehicles
Q: Earlier this month, the Justice Department charged the U.S. business of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, now part of Stellantis, with criminal conspiracy in its multi-year emissions fraud probe surrounding vehicles with diesel engines, Reuters reports. The vehicles involved more than 100,000 older Ram pickup trucks and Jeep sport-utility vehicles in the U.S. The company must pay roughly $300 million in penalties. How is Stellantis instilling confidence in consumers for diesel emissions control in the future?
A: The agreement is exclusive to a previous-generation engine. Consumer claims related to the subject vehicles have already been resolved, and no additional recalls are required.
One of the most promising takeaways we’re hearing from the brand is its focused commitment to building a software-defined platform. As vehicles become more electrified and complex, software is becoming a major differentiator.
When everything runs through the infotainment system, it’s important to get the right software in place. It’s clear Stellantis is thinking about that as they move forward with their electrification strategy.
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