Stellantis Explores Leapmotor EV Introduction in Global Markets After Strategic Equity Purchase, Australia Not Ruled Out Yet
November 3, 2023
Stellantis, the multinational automotive group, is currently evaluating the introduction of Leapmotor electric vehicles (EVs) to the UK, following its acquisition of a 20% stake in the Chinese EV manufacturer for £1.3 billion (approximately AUD 2.46 billion) according to an AutoCar report
This strategic partnership provides Stellantis with the exclusive rights to distribute Leapmotor models outside of China, with an eye on commencing sales in Europe through a joint venture starting in 2024.
Leapmotor has launched its T03 city car in France with an attractive lease offer of €99 (around AUD 187) per month, with no deposit required, capitalizing on local EV incentives.
The T03, with a length of 3620mm, offers a range of 174 miles (280 km), outperforming its rival, the Dacia Spring, which delivers 140 miles (225 km). The T03's price in China is approximately £7437 (AUD 14,056), but European consumers can expect higher prices due to shipping, import duties, and necessary safety modifications. Leapmotor's range also includes the C11 SUV and C01 saloon, starting at £19,437 (AUD 36,736) and £22,167 (AUD 41,895) in China, respectively.
Bringing Leapmotor EVs to the UK could be a strategic move for Stellantis to comply with the imminent ZEV mandate, which requires a minimum of 22% zero-emission vehicles in automakers' sales portfolios, with increasing targets in the future.
In the UK, Stellantis is working to increase its EV market share, with Vauxhall and Peugeot leading its brands at a 15% EV share each over the past year, as per Dataforce.
The T03 is expected to be a more affordable option compared to the upcoming Citroen ë-C3, which will launch with a starting price of £22,000 (AUD 41,580) and a 199-mile (320 km) range.
When compared to the Australian-spec BYD Dolphin Dynamic, the T03 could offer a competitive alternative. The BYD Dolphin Dynamic features a 44.9 kWh "ultra-safe" BYD Blade Battery, 70 kW of power, and 180 Nm of torque, with a 340 km WLTP range, 60kW DC charging, and 16-inch alloy rims, including 1 year of complimentary roadside assistance.
Additionally, the T03 may also rival the MG 4 Excite 51 - which we recently reviewed, priced at AUD 38,990, which boasts 125kW of power and a 51kWh battery, achieving a 0-100km/h sprint in 7.7 seconds and a 350 km WLTP range.
Stellantis is also considering Leapmotor EVs for other markets, including the Middle East, Africa, and South America, aiming to export half a million units annually by 2030.
CarSauce.com has reached out to Stellantis Australia for comments on the potential introduction of Leapmotor EVs to the Australian market.
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Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.