Stellantis to invest as major shareholder in Symbio
Stellantis wants to become the third shareholder in the Symbio fuel cell joint venture, alongside Faurecia and Michelin. Negotiations to acquire a “substantial stake” are underway. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023.
This is according to a statement issued by Stellantis. The size of the stake in the French company has not yet been made public. In addition, the multi-division OEM, which also carries several major French brands, stresses that the deal is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. “Symbio’s technical roadmap perfectly matches with Stellantis’ hydrogen roll-out plans in Europe and in the US,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said, explaining the move.
“This move will foster the speed of development to bring low emission products to our customers, beyond traditional electric vehicles,” Tavares added. “We’re grateful to the teams at Faurecia, Michelin and Symbio for their commitment to innovation, excellence, and collaboration as we all work to achieve decarbonized mobility.”
Symbio was founded in November 2019 by Faurecia and Michelin and established as a fuel cell manufacturer focused on the European market. It expanded into the US in August 2022. The Stellantis Group has been one of the joint venture’s close partners. For example, it relies on Symbio’s stacks for the announced fuel cell versions of the Opel Vivaro-e and its sister models. As part of its Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis is pursuing, among other things, the expansion of hydrogen offerings to larger commercial vehicles – starting in 2024 in Europe and from 2025 in the USA.
Symbio itself announced in October 2022 that it would push ahead with its industrialisation under the project label ‘HyMotive’. In the course of this, the production capacity in France is to be increased to 100,000 fuel cell systems per year by 2028 and 1,000 additional jobs created.
From the point of view of the previous two shareholders, the transaction supports Symbio’s development, as the company will benefit from Stellantis’ leading position in the European and American automotive markets. “By the intention of acquiring a stake in Symbio, Stellantis confirms the robustness of Michelin and Faurecia’s approach to creating a global leader in zero-emission mobility. The new setup will accelerate and globalize Symbio’s growth to the benefit of its customers,” says Patrick Koller, CEO of Faurecia, for example.
Florent Menegaux, CEO of Michelin, adds that Michelin is convinced that hydrogen fuel cell technology will make an effective contribution to the decarbonisation of mobility and even beyond. “The arrival of Stellantis in Symbio’s capital would reinforce this conviction and would catalyze the tremendous industrial momentum we have built with Faurecia.”