“We are becoming a technological automotive company”

Arrived Wednesday January 5 at CES in Las Vegas, the world high technology show, Carlos Tavares, the general manager of Stellantis (group born a year ago from the merger between PSA and Fiat-Chrysler), took the opportunity to announce a large partnership with Amazon. He granted the World an interview on the technological turning point of his company.

You were not at the Munich Motor Show in September 2021, you are, on the other hand, at CES in Las Vegas. Why ?

We can see that in the development of companies like ours, the technological dimension is now major. The evolution of regulations, the evolution of uses mean that if we do not put technology at the top of our priorities, we are marginalized. The presence at CES of Stellantis, very clear, very visible, was maintained despite the abandonment of some of our competitors. This reflects the fact that we are becoming a technological automotive company, that is, one that puts technology at the top of its priorities. And it is a desire expressed by our own employees of the 35-45 generation, who tell us that we must take this turn to high-tech faster and harder.

What does the partnership with Amazon do for you?

These are actually four partnerships. We first buy a fairly standard cloud service, with data storage and processing. Then, as part of the joint venture created with the Taiwanese FoxConn [baptisée Mobile Drive], intended to make a qualitative leap to “infotainment” [information, communication et divertissement à bord] brands of Stellantis, we use Amazon for the operating system part. Third element: we have decided – in a company which employs 30,000 engineers – to create a software university. We will train 1,000 people there per year; traditional engineers in our industry who will become, on a voluntary basis, IT specialists who will have followed a very specialized course. Amazon will help us train them.

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What is encouraging is that we have an absolutely astounding influx of applications right now from tech companies that want to join Stellantis. I believe Stellantis has imposed the idea that it is a business on the move and that if you come from tech companies, you are not going to be crushed by bureaucracy, that you are going to be able to express your full potential.

Finally, we are going to sell electric ProMaster vans to Amazon. [version américaine du plus gros véhicule utilitaire de Stellantis en Europe], whose functionalities for urban delivery will be developed with them. This will allow us to improve our overall utility offering. It’s not just selling a bunch of vans to Amazon that I’m interested in, but sharpening our offer. However, we are currently in the top 2 worldwide for sales of commercial vehicles, very close to the first [Ford]. And our ambition is to exceed it.

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