PSA CEO says switch to electric cars must be profitable: paper

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – PSA Group will support newly acquired Opel introducing electric cars but the switch must be profitable for it to be successful, PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares told German paper Bild am Sonntag.

Politicians and regulators across the globe are promoting electric cars after Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) diesel cheating scandal exposed higher-than-expected pollution levels among all car brands.

“If it works and companies can be profitable that’s good. But if it does not gain acceptance in the market, then everybody: industry, employees, and politicians have a big problem,” Tavares told the paper.

PSA Group took control of Opel and Vauxhall on August 1 this year, completing a 2.2 billion euro takeover.

“We as PSA will make the technology available to Opel to pursue further electrification. If Opel wants to become a fully electric brand some day, we’re ok with that, providing it is profitable,” Tavares said in a joint interview with new Opel Chief Executive Michael Lohscheller.

Electric cars need to be accepted in the market without any subsidies, Tavares said.

Asked whether Opel will be profitable in three years time, new Chief Executive Michael Lohscheller said, “Opel must be and will be profitable.”

Opel’s losses widened in the second quarter to around $250 million, auto trade weekly Automobilwoche reported earlier this month.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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