Stellantis may pull out of car manufacturing in China due to geopolitical issues and local competitors taking more market share, instead importing vehicles from the U.S. or Europe, Bloomberg reported.
The development follows Stellantis’ decision earlier this year to bow out of a joint-venture Jeep plant in China, calling the strategy “asset-light,” the same term it’s now using to describe its potential new approach in China for its Peugeot and Citroen brands.
Local carmakers, including BYD Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings, are introducing a growing number of electric cars and making it harder for Stellantis, Volkswagen and other manufacturers to maintain their footholds in China.
Western automakers are also thinking about mounting sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine, thinking such punishments could be applied to China if it takes a similarly aggressive stance toward Taiwan.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said Monday at the Paris auto show that European officials should introduce restrictions for Chinese automakers like the ones foreign rivals face in China, echoing worries in Europe that Chinese carmakers are gaining their own footholds on the continent.
Some Western carmakers, though, are continuing to invest China, including BMW, which is moving electric Mini hatchback production there from the United Kingdom and assembling a crossover through a partner there.