According to a story by Vince Bond, Jr., in Automotive News, Stellantis dealers can no longer order gasoline-only cars “on spec” in states following California air pollution rules (“CARB states”). Nearly all the CARB states are in the Northeast or coastal West.
Dealers can still order vehicles for customers—just not “on spec.”
To balance supply and demand, dealers in other states can no longer buy plug-in hybrids from Stellantis without customer orders. Some customers are crossing state lines to buy cars off the lot—both gasoline-only and PHEV versions.
A group of automakers (Ford, BMW, Honda, Volkswagen/Audi, and Volvo) made a deal with California in 2020 which essentially exempted them from the special rules for their 2021-26 cars if they achieved a higher overall standard, but the group of automakers did not allow Stellantis, which was formed after the agreement was reached, to join them. Fiat Chrysler had apparently chosen not to join in the agreement.
CARB rules require 35% of light-duty vehicles to be zero-emission or plugin hybrids in the 2026 model years. Stellantis appears to either be building up credits for future years or acting on concerns that CARB standards will be retroactive to the 2021 model year.
CARB states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, soon to be joined by New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia.