Emissions fines will create Chinese ‘Trojan Horse’, says Peugeot boss

Images of Peugeot 308

A major European automaker could be brought “to its knees” by carbon dioxide emissions fines, permitting a Chinese purchaser to intervene with its own electric vehicle technology, Peugeot maker PSA Group’s chief executive said.

Carlos Tavares, who chairs European auto industry lobby group ACEA, stated that policymakers had failed to expect this outcome of the European Union’s 2020 CO2 goals.

“The impact is very obvious. It’s going to create a Chinese Trojan Horse in Europe,” Tavares informed an industry event hosted by French auto magazine Le Journal de l’Auto late on Wednesday.

These outspoken comments come against a backdrop of rising trade tensions between China and the United States and wider issues regarding increasing protectionism globally.

They also underscore issues about foreign influence over European manufacturers, jobs and technology, which have increased since China’s Geely snapped up 10 percent of Daimler AG in February.

“If a European automaker missed its (CO2) targets and was brought to its knees by fines, it could not be acquired by another big European automaker purely because of antitrust rules,” Tavares stated, without mentioning any manufacturer.

That would create the opportunity for multinational investor to bring in the kind of technology “imposed by European authorities, which means electric vehicles,” he stated.

“And who’s the leader in electrification? It’s the Chinese,” he included

France-based PSA, itself 12.2 percent-owned by China’s Dongfeng Motor has sped up new vehicle development at Opel and Vauxhall after revealing what Tavares referred as hidden CO2 emissions issues after the brands’ acquisition from General Motors in 2017.

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