Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Citroen parent Stellantis announced today plans to make a €1.5 billion (USD$1.6 billion) strategic investment inChinese EV automaker Leapmotor, acquiring a 20% stake in the company, and the launch of a partnership aimed at boosting Leapmotors EV sales in China and other global regions.
Founded in 2015, Leapmotor is one of the fastest growing Chinese pure-play new energy vehicles (NEVs) providers. Focused on the mid- to high-end market, Leapmotor delivered approximately 111,000 NEVs in 2022.
The deal outlines the formation of Leapmotor International, a 51/49 Stellantis-led joint venture with exclusive rights to manufacture, export and sell Leapmotor products outside Greater China, marking the first global EV relationship between a leading automaker and a Chinese pure-play NEV OEM. The joint venture expects to begin shipments in the second half of 2024.
According to the companies, the new partnership aims to boost Leapmotors sales in China, as well as to leverage Stellantis’ global commercial presence to accelerate the brands’ sales in other regions, beginning with Europe.
Stellantis added that the new partnership will help the company achieve its Dare Forward 2030 electrification targets, which include reaching a 100% passenger car BEV sales mix in Europe and 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the U.S. by 2030.
Stellantis will have two seats on Leapmotor’s Board of Directors and will appoint the CEO of the Leapmotor International joint venture.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said:
“As consolidation unfolds among the capable electric vehicles start-ups in China, it becomes increasingly apparent that a handful of efficient and agile new generation EV players, like Leapmotor, will come to dominate the mainstream segments in China. We feel it’s the perfect time to take a leading role in supporting the global expansion plans of Leapmotor… who has a similar tech-first, entrepreneurial mindset to ours. Through this strategic investment, we can address a white space in our business model and benefit from Leapmotor’s competitiveness both in China and abroad.”
Leapmotor Founder and CEO Zhu Jiangming added:
“We believe in win-win partnerships formed by strong players in the fast-evolving environment. Working with Stellantis, we will continue to be innovative and creative in technology and business synergies and will bring Leapmotor EV cars to the global market.”