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Stellantis sets March deadline to resolve logistics woes

Stellantis has set a deadline of the end of March to solve logistics problems that dented the company’s market share in Europe last year and left thousands of customers waiting for cars.

“We have understood where the outbound logistics issues were. We are addressing them. They are multiple,” CEO Carlos Tavares told investors on the company’s recent earnings call. “We are addressing each of them with a specific action plan.

Stellantis said it lost 2.4 percentage points of market share in Europe last year, dropping to 19.7%, due to the difficulties in shipping cars to customers. The issues contributed to an 8% drop in the region, along with semiconductor supply issues and the discontinuation of its Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 city cars.

Stellantis and other car makers in the region have been hit by a shortage of lorry drivers, as well as reduced port capacity. The company also suffered from a bumpy changeover to new logistics providers from previous logistics partner Gefco, which Peugeot used to own, as well as dealing with issues arising from a new outbound logistics software platform. “We still have a few bugs. We have a specific task force taking care of them,” Tavares said.

The problems caused a huge dip in sales for Stellantis brands in November in the UK, with Peugeot registrations halving, Fiat down 39% and Citroën down 13%. Registrations for the first two months of this year have steadied for Stellantis, with Peugeot down 6.6% on the same period the year before, Vauxhall down 2.4% and Citroën up 25%.

Read more: Stellantis logistics crisis to blame for ‘disastrous’ November sales

Tavares promised that his company’s logistics issues “will be fixed within the first quarter of this year, so very soon” on the earnings call.

Renault also admitted to logistic problems. ”Our biggest headache is being able to ship vehicles on time,” Renault Group chief financial officer Thierry Piéton said on the company’s recent earnings call.

Both Renault and Stellantis have started recruiting for additional truck drivers within their own companies to try to overcome shortages, according to Bloomberg. Stellantis said it had already signed 140 prospective drivers within its ranks in continental Europe.

Stellantis is looking to expand its own internal logistics company, I-Fast, which it inherited when the company was formed in a merger between PSA Group and FCA Fiat-Chrysler. “This company has a significant potential to grow,” Tavares said on the earnings call. “We are reinforcing our investments in that company to make sure that we put ourselves out of trouble very soon.”

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