Comment: Carbon money changers. In order not to have to pay a fine, Peugeot sells cars to Toyota

The Stellantis Group will end sales of the MPV Peugeot Rifter, Citroën Berlingo and Opel Combo with internal combustion engines. Only the more expensive and less practical electric version will continue. This is a consequence of carbon accounting within the EU. The French continue to make cars, but supply them to Toyota. It has a more advantageous position when calculating fleet CO2 emissions, so it pays a lower fine for the same car.

Last Friday, all motoring journalists stumbled upon the news. The Stellantis group confirmed the serious webu Automotive News Europethat the Peugeot Rifter and most of its siblings from Citroën and Opel end up with both petrol and diesel. The main delivery versions will continue, most of the others will be battery powered.

Which, of course, has some commitments to stop the internal combustion engine. And Stellantis conglomerate brands are no exception. Peugeot claims 2030, Opel even 2028. But the aforementioned three MPVs are coming to an end right now. In January 2022.

At the same time, it is not a posh ride for the richer classes, but on the contrary, one of the last refuges for larger families. After the sale of the Renault Scénic, Opel Zafira and other smaller MPVs, the Rifter Maxi, Berlingo XL and Combo XL were the only alternatives for seven people under half a million crowns. They owe this advantage to the foundations in simple and robust vans for greengrocers and craftsmen.

For comparison: the similarly spacious and more comfortable Peugeot 5008 starts at seven hundred thousand, a class larger Ford Galaxy per million crowns. It is obvious that this is a bigger leap for Czech families than for Swedish or Dutch ones.

Citroën’s press release boasts CO2 emissions. “The high weight and unfavorable aerodynamics of the rear stern silhouette increase fuel consumption,” Automotive News quotes and adds important detail. Green credits for every electric car sold have been declining since this year. To achieve the same effect on fleet CO2 emissions, each brand must sell more electric cars.

Not that the electric versions of the Rifter, Berling and Combo promised terno for eight hundred thousand. With a practical range of just over two hundred kilometers, it is inconceivable that the family would set out for the sea. They could be useful for e-shop delivery, but they have already discovered cheaper trucks from China.

Looking at Peugeot’s offer, however, another trifle strikes. While Rifter, criticized for its high CO2 emissions, emitted 115 to 129 g / km according to the engine, the model 5008 has even higher values ​​- 135 to 158 grams. It remains on sale, so it is clearly not carbon dioxide itself.

The main difference is that Rifter has also been sold under the Toyota brand for the third year in a row. Although the Japanese giant produces vans in Japan and America, it would not be worthwhile to import them to Europe. So he buys them from Peugeot and sells them in his salons under the name Proace City.

So is Toyota going to switch exclusively to batteries? Never. “Nothing has changed for Toyota, the current model offer remains unchanged in terms of the offer of motorizations,” the Czech importer confirmed to Aktuálně.cz. So Stellantis apparently decided to use this channel to sell all combustion versions.

Does it make sense to make cars and drive customers to the competition? Certainly not in a market economy, but this is not the case in today’s Europe. You will be fined for selling the cars that people want – in the case of the Peugeot Rifter and its siblings, around 50,000 crowns. Even in the covid year of 2020, Stellantis sold ninety thousand of them, which makes a total of four and a half billion crowns.

If you agree on favorable conditions with the competition, you can do the opposite. You let the factory run, you don’t have to lay off your own employees, you secure sales and someone else pays the fine for you.

The joke is that Toyota will pay less. It sells more SUVs with a higher weight, so its carbon limit is calculated from the higher bar. The seven-seater hut does not exceed that much, so lower penalties will come out. At the same time, it makes money for them more easily, as with the Toyota logo it sells for sixty to seventy thousand crowns more expensive.

This is an absurd and painful, but still bearable surcharge for the Czech family, they will eventually get to a relatively affordable car. Someone else will bounce it off: Peugeot, Citroën and Opel dealers. They anonymously shared with us the utter disappointment. They will miss the corporate clientele much more than families with children, who drove construction and assembly crews in cars, drove more kilometers and fed the service.

The Czech importer is trying to negotiate a compromise, but the prospects are uncertain. In any case, the Rifter has already disappeared from the Peugeot website.

Stellantis’s strange trade with Toyota shows that the so-called notion of disruption, ie the disruption of existing orders, has two sides. Maybe it’s time to look at the other one. Who will one day sell Peugeot electric cars when the manufacturer cuts its own network? And do we still need such drastic fines to motivate the industry, when the inevitable technological change is clearly already underway?


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