The option to purchase the electric car unfortunately coexists with the fear of lack of infrastructure by the user of these vehicles. How does Grupo PSA plan to break this barrier?
At Groupe PSA we are aware that electrification still raises many questions for customers and that one of the most important concerns the available infrastructure. Spain continues to be at the bottom of Europe in this matter, so if we want to boost this market, it is necessary to develop a network of charging points that facilitate the use of this type of vehicle. To do this, in Groupe PSA we have installed 2,000 charging points in 100% of the network of our brands. Furthermore, throughout Europe, the Group makes available to its clients, individuals and professionals, access to a specific service for the purchase and installation of its charging points.
Among the wide range of products that make up the four brands, what do you think would be the smartest choice today for a big city?
I believe that the smartest option is always the one that best responds to each person’s specific mobility needs. Not all people who drive around the city will give it the same use. Therefore, in the ranges of our brands, we offer models that adapt to all kinds of clients. But not only different models, but also different energies, that is, from this year, all the new launches of the Group offer an electrified, 100% electric or plug-in hybrid version, along with the versions with highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines. In addition, Groupe PSA, as a service provider, also makes available the service of carsharing emov by Free2Move. Our goal is to offer the client all possible options so that they can choose the type of mobility that suits them best.
Do you think that Spain will live up to the needs created after the automotive industry’s definitive commitment to the electric vehicle?
From the automotive sector we work day by day to make it so. But the success of electrification involves bringing this type of vehicle closer to customers, deploying a wide network of recharging points and putting incentives for their purchase on the table that mitigate the higher price associated with the cost of batteries, which still today we produce outside Europe. In this sense, the recent launch of plans such as MOVES II and Renove is good news.
What is the current state of the PSA Group factories in Spain after the tragic world break caused by Covid-19?
After the break caused by COVID-19, our three factories in Spain have resumed activity gradually and safely. The highest priority for Groupe PSA has been and is to protect the health and safety of its workers, customers and suppliers, which is why exhaustive protocols have been applied, including, for example, the modification of assembly lines so that operators have distance and guarantee their safety, the carrying out of temperature controls in the access to the centers, etc. The rate and volume of protection will depend, as always, on the evolution of demand in the target markets for the models produced in our country.
Is the future of these factories guaranteed?
Groupe PSA’s commitment to Spain and its plants is clear. This is demonstrated by the significant investments made by the Group in our country, which has led us to be the only manufacturer that already produces 100% electric vehicles in all its Spanish factories. The current manufacturing, exclusively worldwide, of the new 100% electric models, Opel Corsa-e, in Zaragoza, Peugeot e-2008, in Vigo and soon Citroën Ë-C4 in Madrid, as well as the award of the production of a new generation of 100% electric commercial vehicles in Vigo from next year, prove the importance of Spanish plants for the Group, as well as the strong competitiveness and the high level of qualification of the workforce, which ensures the production and marketing of vehicles with high quality standards.
Madrid and Citroën C4 Eléctrico, does Groupe PSA silence any doubts about the durability of the only existing car factory in the interior of a European capital?
The award of the Citroën C4 to the Center of Madrid, announced in May 2017, ensured the activity of the plant in the coming years with an investment by Groupe PSA of 144 million euros to place the Madrid plant at the highest level of its industrial device with a project that included the introduction of the new state-of-the-art CMP platform, which includes a 100% electric version, and which allows gasoline, diesel and 100% electric versions to be manufactured on the same production line, which constitutes a competitive advantage since it allows a rapid adaptation of production to possible changes in demand that may arise in the market.
How do you see the industry and the car in ten years and in which square of the board would you like to be positioned.
I do not know which box I will be in 2030, but what is certain is that the world of the automobile we will live in will have little to do with the one we know today. At Groupe PSA we have identified megatrends such as respect for the environment, digitization, connectivity, the autonomous vehicle or shared mobility, which will radically transform the way we move. In 2030, shared and connected mobility will, in fact, be a fundamental pillar of the automotive industry and more than 25% of the benefits will come from the new mobility offers.