FRANKFURT -- PSA Group will support newly acquired Opel to introduce electric cars but the switch must be profitable for it to be successful, PSA CEO Tavares told German paper Bild am Sonntag.
Politicians and regulators across the globe are promoting electric cars after Volkswagen Group's diesel cheating scandal exposed higher-than-expected pollution levels among all car brands.
"If it works and companies can be profitable that's good. But if it does not gain acceptance in the market, then everybody: industry, employees, and politicians have a big problem," Tavares told the paper.
PSA took control of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors on Aug. 1 this year, completing a 2.2 billion-euro takeover.
"We as PSA will make the technology available to Opel to pursue further electrification. If Opel wants to become a fully electric brand some day, we're ok with that, providing it is profitable," Tavares said in a joint interview with new Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller.
Electric cars need to be accepted in the market without any subsidies, Tavares said.
Lohscheller's predecessor, Karl-Thomas Neumann, had been working to turn Opel into an electric car only brand using GM's electric car architecture that underpins the Chevrolet Bolt and its sister model, the Opel Ampera-e, German monthly Manager Magazin reported earlier this year.
Opel sold 960 units of the Ampera-e, its only full-electric car, in the first seven months, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.
Opel's losses widened in the second quarter to around $250 million, auto trade weekly Automobilwoche reported earlier this month.
Asked whether Opel will be profitable in three years time, Lohscheller said, "Opel must be and will be profitable."
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report