Stellantis brings Chinese EV maker Leapmotor to Europe

Stellantis brings Chinese EV maker Leapmotor to Europe

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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Stellantis has started operations for its joint venture with Chinese EV maker Leapmotor with the first move in Europe.

Leapmotor International will start selling EVs in nine European countries in September via Stellantis dealerships to compete with low cost EV makers such as BYD. Leapmotor International is majority owned by Stellantis and plans expansion to boost scale very quickly, starting with the T03 and C10 models to be followed by at least one new model to be introduced every year in the next three years.

The core components are independently developed and manufactured, including electric powertrain and intelligent systems, and these account for 60% of the cost of the vehicles. These include an Eight-in-One Electric Drive System, the industry’s first mass-produced Cell-to-Chassis (CTC) technology and a centralised integrated architecture that combines four zone controllers.

The C10 is based on Leapmotor’s self-developed LEAP3.0 technology architecture with the central integrated electronic and electrical architecture, CTC technology and its flagship intelligent cockpit and has with 420 km range and a 5-star E-NCAP safety rating. The T03 is a low cost EV in the €20,000 range with a range of 265 km that will compete with the BYD Seagull.

Leapmotor is one of the startup EV  brands in China looking to challenge car makers such as BYD, Volvos and Polestar owner Geely and NIO. In October 2023, Stellantis paid $1.5bn for a 21% equity stake in the company.

“The creation of Leapmotor International is a great step forward in helping address the urgent global warming issue with state-of-the-art BEV models that will compete with existing Chinese brands in key markets around the world,” said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. He said that no decision had been taken about exactly where the Leapmotor EVs would be built in Europe, but that quality and price competitiveness were key. This is a key factor with the US imposing 100% tariffs on Chinese EV makers as Stellantis also owns the Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands in the US: EV shots fired in US-China trade war

“We do not intend to leave the 20,000 euro price band of the market to our Chinese competitors,” said Tavares. “You can expect the T03 would be priced below 20,000 euros in Europe.”

“The partnership between Leapmotor and Stellantis demonstrates a high level of efficiency, opening a new chapter in the global integration of China’s intelligent electric vehicle industry,” said Leapmotor Founder, Chairman and CEO Jiangming Zhu.

“Leveraging Leapmotor’s cutting-edge technology and products, along with Stellantis’ support in areas such as overseas channels, services, and marketing, we hope that users around the world can experience the exceptional driving and riding experience brought by Leapmotor products. We believe that this cooperation can give Leapmotor a boost to become a respected world-class intelligent electric vehicle company.”


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