Stellantis Planning Seven Cheap Cars On New Platform To Fight Chinese Rivals

Stellantis is working on four different platforms that will cover a wide variety of electric cars. STLA Small, STLA Medium, and STLA Large are being engineered as unibody architectures with multiple battery packs as well as front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive configurations. There’s also STLA Frame to underpin tougher body-on-frame trucks and SUVs. The automotive conglomerate says each platform can support the production of two million vehicles per year.

When the Citroën e-C3 was introduced this week, the French brand carrying the double chevron logo said its stylish small hatchback won’t use any of the four STLA platforms. Instead, it’s going to sit on a fifth architecture tailored to Europe but also to region-specific models that will be sold in South America and India. Renaud Tourte, the man in charge of Smart Car, has now told Automotive News that about seven cars are currently being developed with this hardware.

2024 Citroen e-C3

Not all of them will be EVs since Stellantis’ Smart Car platform has been engineered to accommodate combustion engines as well. The arhitecture is not completely new since it’s derived from CMP, developed by PSA. A bigger version of the e-C3 is coming, according to Tourte, who went on to say at least two other brands will launch cars starting next year. When asked about whether the next-generation Fiat Panda is going to be one of them, Tourte strongly suggested that it will by saying it’s “not completely foolish to think that.” Its debut has already been confirmed for July 11, 2024 to mark Fiat’s 125th anniversary.

How cheap are these cars going to be? Well, the Citroën e-C3 is initially going to cost €23,300 ($24,600 at current exchange rates) in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Portugal when it goes on sale in early 2024. A lower-range variant will reduce the asking price to only €19,990 ($21,100) and will hit the market in 2025.

With the newly released e-C3 and future models, Citroën wants to achieve at least a 5% market share in Europe. However, the competition is increasingly tougher on the Old Continent as more and more Chinese brands are bringing their affordable EVs. Lest we forget Renault builds the popular Dacia Spring in the People’s Republic and ships it to Europe with great success.

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