The rapid transition to electrification has presented a challenge for marketers: How do you reposition decades of brand equity built on traditional automotive values for a new greener, cleaner world?
Volkswagen’s "Voltswagen" controversy showed that it’s a delicate task.
Stellantis tackled the subject on Thursday, presenting slogans, or mission statements, that sum up each of its 14 brands’ electric ambitions, as part of a comprehensive presentation on its electrification road map.
The task is also to carve out space for each of those brands in two main markets, Europe and the U.S.
Analyst Philippe Houchois of Jefferies gave Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares positive marks on the presentation, noting that Stellantis' "clear brand differentiation" would "limit overlap and support the upcoming rationalization of European distribution by 2023, opening the way to more direct selling and multi-brand dealers."
Overall, "The EV Day should have put to rest lingering concerns that Stellantis lagged industry electrification," Houchois said. "We found industrial strategy consistent with peers, product launches in sync with different market pace, and capital spending consistent with historical capital efficiency."
Here are the new slogans, and what they say about each brand’s electrified future:
Alfa Romeo: "From 2024, Alfa becomes Alfa e-Romeo," with the serpent becoming a power plug. The premium brand, which underperformed under Fiat Chrysler, has a new CEO, Jean-Philippe Imperato, and will add new, electrified models in the coming years.
DS Automobiles: "The art of travel, magnified." The premium brand launched in 2014 by promoting "French savoir-faire" and craftsmanship. It will be a part of Stellantis’ premium group with Alfa Romeo and Lancia.