Stellantis Forms Strategic Alliance with Chinese EV Brand Leapmotor, Expanding European Market Presence
October 31, 2023
In a significant development, Stellantis has reached a €1.5bn (£1.3bn) agreement to distribute Leapmotor vehicles in Europe. Beginning in the second half of next year, Stellantis will introduce the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) brand's cars to the European market. Additionally, Stellantis has acquired a 20% share in Leapmotor and secured majority control over the newly established Leapmotor International division. The partnership is expected to enhance Leapmotor's domestic sales in China and strengthen its global footprint.
Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, remarked on the timeliness of the partnership, given the ongoing consolidation in the Chinese EV market. Tavares praised Leapmotor as one of the "efficient and agile new generation EV players" that is expected to dominate China's mainstream segments. Zhu Jiangming, founder and CEO of Leapmotor, expressed his excitement over this milestone, underscoring the benefits of collaboration between two strong players in the evolving EV market. Leapmotor, which delivered approximately 111,000 new energy vehicles in 2022, aims to develop a comprehensive range of vehicles based on a unified technical architecture that accommodates both electric and petrol range-extender electric powertrains.
This strategic alliance will also facilitate mutual exploration of synergies that could incorporate Leapmotor's electrification expertise into future Stellantis projects. This move marks a notable shift in Tavares's stance towards Chinese manufacturers in the European market. Last year, Tavares advocated for the EU to impose tariffs on Chinese EVs to protect European brands, a suggestion that elicited a strong reaction from the Chinese government. However, Tavares has emphasized the potential benefits of collaborating with Chinese manufacturers to strengthen the European automotive industry.
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