Groupe PSA – 7 Mega Trends – Ecological Transition / Transition écologique – Light Version

Groupe PSA – 7 Mega Trends – Ecological Transition / Transition écologique – Light Version


First of all, I would like to thank you very warmly for being here. As you know, at PSA, we are now preparing our next long-term plan for the company. And of course, building the long-term plan for the company means understanding the trends of the society in which we operate. Among the seven big trends, one obvious one is climate change. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss with you, being a high-level expert on this matter, so that we can feed the upstream thinking of the company that will prepare this next mid-term plan. I think what will matter a lot in the years to come is the way the public opinion, the civil society, will react to this kind of shift between what is supposed to be done and what is actually being done. In addition to that, the pressure of the society will be indexed, in a way, on the pressure exerted by the climate itself. I think the automotive industry is a very interesting case because it’s only the visible part of the iceberg. We are talking about transportation, mobility, freedom of mobility, but in fact, what is at stake, from our perspective, is that the Western lifestyle that has been created over the last 50 years is very much based on an intensive carbon footprint. And if this needs to change, which it obviously needs to, then the whole lifestyle of the Western society needs to change, which goes far beyond the automotive mobility device problem, that we will fix of course because we have the technology to fix it. There has been a lot of attention given to the diagnosis, to the alert, to the diagnosis of what should be done. And I see less debate about the solutions We have the technology, but I think the speed that is being imposed on the industry to bring fully electric cars will not meet the citizens’ expectation of affordability and then will fire back on the political leaders on the fact: “Ok, you want me to be zero-emission driven, very good, but I cannot afford this car”. So the room for manoeuvre of the political leaders who are trying to impose this high speed of change may be limited for them to be able to create some breathing spaces that give the society the capability to adapt to this new world. So, there is a problem of helping the people to understand what may happen, what are the options. I’m a European citizen. The citizens need to have a better collaboration between the governments on one side and the car makers on the other side. And the citizens expect from us a better collaboration for a very simple reason: I have 16,000 engineers in my company. It’s better that I put my 16,000 engineers to work on the most cost effective, zero-emission, solutions for the citizens than just implement what has been instructed to us by the governments. There are decisions that are being taken and for a while we were speaking about the acceptance of those decisions by the population. I think there is a need to put a bit more the citizens in the face of early debates. And this is not really occurring. Should we change our way of doing science because of those problems? I do think so, yes. I do think so because I think we are confronting ourselves to situations which we have not explored so far. Many people feel hostage of this lack of information being transferred. Is there some capacity, maybe from the big companies, to provide a vision of the future to the citizens? What the companies can bring to this is the technology that makes a low carbon society happy, safe and secure. I think the scientific community has a big role to play, which is to challenge governments and companies to work together in a more efficient and productive way, with less threats, more sense of responsibility of what we need to achieve altogether. I would say that the scientific community realises that this is its responsibility now, to try to find some solutions which are compatible with what people think. We live in educated countries and we have to listen to people. This was a great chat.
– Thank you very much.

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