Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares expects "a certain amount of approvals will be given by the UK administration” in order to protect the future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car Summit, Tavares said his firm is now “waiting for approval from the UK administration” in order to allow investment in the Cheshire site.
“Discussions [have been] extremely positive and productive with the UK government,” said Tavares, before adding that he expects those guarantees to come to safeguard the plant.
However, Tavares said that work still needs to be done, and while discussions have been positive, legal documents and guarantees still need to be produced and positive talks “aren't enough”.
“We're living in a complex world,” said Tavares. “We signed a binding agreement between FCA and PSA in 2019. We closed the merger in 2021, 13 months later, after filing 12,500 documents. The reason why I highlight this is that it’s something we should care about.
“We live in a world where I have good convergence with UK government and agree on tonnes of things. We have open, frank, transparent discussions, but it’s not enough.
“We need to make sure we need to get all approvals from all administrations that eventually will have to support this convergence. It’s a question for societies and democracies. There's so much scrutiny, checking, paperwork, so much lack of trust that we need to wait for these approvals to happen.
“If they happen, we will then see what’s in the potential agreement. We need to adapt to work in the world we live in that citizens have voted for, that's built on lack of trust in society.
“On Ellesmere Port, we’re moving in right direction but can't proceed until we have agreements on relevant authorities that have power to say yes or no. That’s the reality of the legal framing.”