TURIN -- The past several weeks have been truly eventful for the automotive sector in Italy, with an escalating war of words between the first right-wing government since 1948 and the country’s only volume automaker, Stellantis.
It started in late January, when Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that Italy's hard line on EV incentives has meant lost production at the company's Mirafiori plant, where it builds the Fiat New 500 EV. In addition to Fiats, Stellantis builds Jeeps, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos in Italy (and soon Opels and DSs).
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni responded two days later, criticizing Stellantis as wanting to move production to lower-cost countries at a time when the auto industry is struggling to shift to electrification.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Jan. 31, Tavares fired back at Meloni, saying Italy should do more to protect auto jobs instead of looking for scapegoats and attacking Stellantis.
The next day, Adolfo Urso, the minister for industry and Made in Italy, announced a new round of scrapping incentives to promote EV adoption that, if approved, could total more than 13,500 euros for lower-income families.