Stellantis Fighting Chinese Rivals with 7 Budget Cars

Next Fiat Panda on Stellantis’ Smart Platform

Stellantis is currently devising four distinct platforms that will embrace a broad scope of electric cars. STLA Small, STLA Medium and STLA Large are being constructed as unibody infrastructures with assorted battery packs as well as front-, rear- and all-wheel drive versions. They have also designed STLA Frame as the basis for tougher body-on-frame SUVs and trucks. The auto giant asserts that each platform has the potential to generate up to two million vehicles annually.

This week, Citroën unveiled its all-new e-C3 small hatchback boasting the iconic double chevron logo. Rather than relying on the four STLA architectures, the vehicle features a unique fifth platform specifically designed for Europe but also suitable to manufacture regionally tailored models that can be sold in South America and India. Renaud Tourte, head of Smart Car, informed Automotive News that approximately seven cars are currently being constructed with the new hardware.

Stellantis’ Smart Car platform has been designed to support both electric and combustion engines. The architecture is derived from PSA’s CMP, and according to Tourte, a bigger version of the e-C3 will be released in 2021, with at least two other brands joining in. When asked if the next-generation Fiat Panda will be one of them, Tourte hinted that it would be a logical conclusion. This was confirmed when the company announced that the Panda will be unveiled on July 11, 2024 in celebration of Fiat’s 125th anniversary.

One may wonder how cheap the Citroën e-C3 will be. When it is available to purchase in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Portugal in early 2024, the starting cost shall be €23,300 ($24,600 based on current exchange rates). Furthermore, a more inexpensive variant of the car will come out in 2025, at an asking price of €19,990 ($21,100).

Citroën looks to attain a minimum of 5% of the European market with the recently released e-C3 and impending models. Nevertheless, the rivalry across the Old Continent is intensifying since numerous Chinese labels are introducing their low-priced electric vehicles. Though it should not be overlooked that Renault manufactures the favored Dacia Spring in China and exports it to Europe for remarkable results.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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