Tavares also serves as chairman of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), so his views on a variety of issues have a major impact on the industry.
Autocar caught up with Tavares on a range of topics, including PSA’s recent restructure, Vauxhall’s turnaround and his thoughts on new, tougher European Union CO2 targets.
There are reports you need to cut 100,000 jobs because of the cost of meeting emission regulations. Is that true?
“This is fake news. But more than 20,000 jobs have been shed over the past three months [across the European car industry].
“Electromobility is costly. When we’re faced with significant cost, it leads to increased prices and clean emissions become elitist. We either sell fewer cars or get fined [for missing EU emission targets]. So we have to restructure, or sell at a loss to hit the EU targets.”
Why are low-emission cars so expensive?
“The cost of batteries is not competitive. If you push the supply of batteries to Asia, the price goes up. The [EU] rules should coincide with the introduction of a European battery maker. It’s not coordinated or planned strategically. Where is the charging network investment? It’s not a 360deg approach and there’s a lack of rigorous planning. This is serious stuff – the EVs are there and for sale. These are €30,000 (£26,000) vehicles, and there’s no decent charging network. This problem is not all about the car makers.”