Governments across Europe are fighting for automaking jobs as the shift to battery power upends the industry. Securing production of a mass-market vehicle like the 208 would be a coup because it’s now Europe’s best-selling car, having ended the 14-year reign of the Volkswagen Golf in 2022.
Spain is among countries that have become more competitive for EV manufacturing investment because of favorable tax conditions and relatively low labor and energy costs.
The French government is working with Stellantis and its peers to locate as many vehicles as possible in France, a finance ministry official said, declining to elaborate. A spokesman for Stellantis declined to comment.
Stellantis has pledged to produce 12 EVs in France, but they are mostly larger, higher-end models like the e-308 compact sedan and e-408 midsize fastback sedan. After Renault said it would assemble its electric R5 compact car at home, Paris was hoping Stellantis would also build more budget vehicles in the country to help counter inflation, the people said. The e-208 starts at around 35,000 euros ($38,623) in France.
Stellantis earlier this month said it expects to hire 1,200 people in production, engineering and sales in France this year.