PARIS -- A number of automakers are exploring whether to shear off electric vehicles as a separate business unit, or even a listed company.
Their reasons include a need for more agility, a desire to attract capital from Tesla-besotted investors, and a fresh start unburdened by potentially worthless “legacy” assets such as engine factories.
They include Ford, with its Blue (internal combustion) and Model e (EV) units; Geely, with its coming Polestar SPAC reverse-merger listing; and Renault (weighing a separate listing for EV assets).
But others are planning to stay the course, at least for now.
Stellantis, itself in existence for little more than a year, does not anticipate any fundamental changes to its business structure, Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said Thursday.
Palmer was responding to a question from analyst George Galliers of Goldman Sachs, who noted that splitting off EV activities is a “hot topic” among Stellantis’ competitors.
“I don’t honestly see huge benefits to doing that,” Palmer said. “We need to manage the company and assets we have through this transition. There are benefits to having the cash flow from the internal combustion business to drive the technology investments we need to make.”
It will take a “team effort” to manage the transition to electrification, he said, noting that Stellantis had to account for all its stakeholders, including employees.