Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares says after 41 years in the industry he is now considered the wise man in the room. That wisdom and experience convinced him that to make the combined pieces of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a success he needed to empower and energize the entire workforce. He says the 1-year-old company's ability to embrace rapid change has allowed it to make sweeping changes at the speed of a startup. The initial results have been impressive. Stellantis’ 2021 operating margin was on par with premium automakers and it is forecast to remain in double digits. Tavares explained how in answers to questions from Automotive News Europe and other journalists during several roundtable discussions this month.
Stellantis' Dare Forward 2030 plan sets a number of tough targets that include doubling revenue to 300 billion euros in nine years, maintaining an adjusted operating margin above 10 percent over the period, with a peak of 12 percent in 2030. What makes you confident these targets could be achieved despite an increasingly challenging environment?
Because this is a bottom-up plan [which means it was developed at the lower levels of the organization and funneled up through consecutive layers until it reached top management.] I asked the team many times, "Are you sure you can do that?" They said, "yes." What came together is a very strong bottom-up plan because people want to change. People do not want to be caught in a dinosaur-like legacy company. Our people are rapidly embracing change. Some of our stakeholders, namely some governments, may be surprised by the speed at which we decide things. We have been dealing with many startups and tech companies and I can tell you that Stellantis’ decision-making speed is the same as theirs, despite many people seeing us as a sort of dinosaur.