Nov 1, 2019

Carlos Tavares is set as CEO of the auto industry's next giant

PSA Groupe CEO Carlos Tavares. Photo: Julien de Rosa/IP3 via Getty Images

Carlos Tavares, a weekend racer with a gutsy instinct on and off the track, will soon be in charge of the world's fourth-largest automaker.

Why it matters: Since last year's death of Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne and arrest of Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn, the global auto industry has been looking for its next Lee Iacocca or Bob Lutz. Here comes Tavares.

Driving the news: The Portugal-born boss of France's PSA Groupe is slated to become CEO in a 50-50 merger between the Peugeot parent and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

As I reported in Forbes in 2017, Tavares is a dynamic, thoughtful leader who keeps his eyes on what's ahead.

  • Once a top lieutenant to Ghosn, he got canned after telling a reporter he wanted to be CEO. A few months later, he got his wish at the nearly bankrupt PSA.
  • He has a reputation for efficiency, turning loss-producing businesses into moneymakers, but his challenge now will be navigating the disruptive technology changes roiling the industry.
  • He's prepared to adapt. "We are dinosaurs," he told me in 2017. "And if we don't want to disappear like dinosaurs, we have to operate in a different way."

What to watch: The industry is taking note of Tavares' ambition. "Number 4 is not his goal," one exec told me. "If I’m Toyota, GM or VW, I’m shaking in my boots."

Go deeper... Report: Fiat Chrysler and France's PSA agree to merger terms

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It's every carmaker for itself

The once monolithic automotive industry is splintering over a range of issues, as companies scramble to cope with unprecedented technological disruption and business challenges.

The big picture: Although fiercely competitive in the showroom, automakers have long presented a united front on shared interests like trade policy, government regulations and labor relations. That's all gone out the window lately; now it's every man for himself.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019

General Motors sues Fiat Chrysler alleging union bribes

General Motors' world headquarters. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

General Motors filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, alleging its competitor was involved in racketeering by paying millions of dollars in bribes to corrupt the bargaining process with the United Auto Workers union, likely costing GM billions of dollars.

The big picture: The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, aligns with the ongoing federal probe into corruption among some of UAW's top people and FCA's involvement. GM's accusation also comes as FCA and UAW are negotiating a contract fresh off a six-week strike at GM. Meanwhile, FCA is working on a planned merger with French automaker PSA.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

The climate war over cars intensifies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The high-stakes fight over vehicle emissions and mileage rules is getting more intense and drawing in new combatants.

Driving the news, part 1: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state government would only buy cars for their fleets from automakers that reached a deal with the state on increasing emissions standards.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019