Stellantis eyes No. 1 EV spot in Singapore

Mr Christophe Musy says he sees no reason why Stellantis brands cannot garner at least 10 per cent of the car market in Singapore. ST PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TAN

SINGAPORE – Euro-American automotive giant Stellantis is confident of becoming the best-selling electric car group here.

Formed in January 2021 and comprising 14 brands such as Peugeot, Opel, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Citroen, the group expects to achieve that goal “in two to three years”, its regional head told The Straits Times.

Mr Christophe Musy, Stellantis head of Asean and Oceania, said during an interview here last week that he expects to beat Tesla to the electric vehicle (EV) pole position. But at the moment, he might have to contend with another EV brand.

In the first eight months of 2022, China’s BYD was the top seller here with 479 electric cars registered, according to Land Transport Authority figures, followed by Tesla with 412 units, and BMW with 247.

BYD is expected to slow down once its fleet sales to private-hire operators are fulfilled towards the end of the year. Tesla should then regain its No. 1 spot.

“I respect Tesla as a competitor, but look at its prices,” said Mr Musy, referring to the $300,000 segment in which the American brand’s cars are priced.

Stellantis’ products are nearly half that price, although they are smaller and nowhere as powerful.

Peugeot, Opel and Fiat – currently the only Stellantis brands here with an EV presence – registered only a total of 11 cars in the first eight months. Opel and Peugeot had just launched their first electric cars here, while Fiat’s solitary registration is from a parallel importer.

Mr Musy said things will change quickly, with more models in the pipeline. “We have eight EVs today, but we will have 28 more over the next two years, with 18 to 20 of them for Singapore,” he noted.

All the cars, he emphasised, will be for mass-market and not just lifestyle buyers. Hence, he is confident Stellantis will be the best-selling EV group here. “If you have the right car at the right time, you can take market share very quickly,” he added.

His optimism is bolstered by Stellantis’ performance in Europe, where it attained the No. 2 spot in 2021 with a 14.5 per cent of the electric car market. Tesla was in third place with 13.9 per cent, while Volkswagen Group was No. 1 with 25 per cent, according to automotive research group Jato.

Going by individual models, however, Tesla was still No. 1 in Europe, with the Model 3 clinching sales of 141,221 units in 2021. Stellantis’ best-selling model was the electric Fiat 500 with sales of 44,332 units, clinching a distant No. 6 spot.

In between them were Volkswagen, Fiat and Kia models.

As for overall vehicle sales in Singapore, Mr Musy is also confident Stellantis will do much better “in the near future”.

“I don’t see any reason why one day we can’t have at least 10 per cent market share,” he said.

The group’s brands had less than 2.5 per cent of passenger car sales in 2021, compared with around 10 per cent garnered by Volkswagen Group, another multi-brand conglomerate.

Follow Christopher Tan on Instagram @chris.motoring

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