Italy exploring partnership with Tesla to bolster domestic auto industry: report


In a bid to diversify its domestic automotive sector and achieve an annual production target of 1.3 million vehicles, Italy has reportedly initiated discussions with a number of potential partners, such as Tesla and Chinese carmakers. The negotiations were mentioned by Industry Minister Adolfo Urso on Wednesday.

Minister Urso noted that Rome had been in touch with Tesla for months, though he also noted that the electric vehicle maker would have to review its plans for Europe. Interestingly enough, Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited Rome back in December, when he spoke at a political gathering that was organized by the Brothers of Italy party.

Apart from Tesla, the minister stated that the government is also in talks with three Chinese automakers. Representatives from these companies reportedly paid a visit to Italy in 2023 to evaluate potential opportunities for investment. 

Urso was quite optimistic about Italy’s ongoing talks with the automakers. “We’re having positive feedback,” Urso noted. He also acknowledged the crucial role a new partner would play in bolstering the Italian auto industry. 

Currently, Stellantis, which includes brands like Fiat and Alfa Romeo, stands as Italy’s sole major carmaker. In 2023, Stellantis produced roughly 750,000 vehicles in Italy, comprised of 520,000 passenger cars and 230,000 vans. The number is substantial, but it was not enough to reach Italy’s automotive goals

Italy is looking to produce at least 1.3 million vehicles a year, comprised of one million passenger cars and 300,000 vans, as noted in a Reuters report. Urso noted that Italy is aware Stellantis cannot accomplish this target by itself. “We are aware that it is impossible for Stellantis alone to reach the target of one million cars produced in Italy,” he said.

It should be noted that discussions are also underway between the government and Stellantis. The talks are aimed at reviving combined car and van production in Italy to one million units annually by the end of the decade. This level of output was last achieved in 2017.

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Italy exploring partnership with Tesla, Chinese carmakers to bolster domestic auto industry: report


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