Stellantis invested in Chinese automaker Leapmotor to expand global electric vehicle (EV) sales. Leapmotor claims to be a technology-driven intelligent EV company.
The legacy automaker became a shareholder of Leapmotor after investing €1.5 billion in the Chinese EV company. After its investment, Stellantis acquired 20% of Leapmotor, making it a significant shareholder. Stellantis now has two seats on Leapmotor’s Board of Directors.
“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, one of the most impressive new EV players 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. I want to thank Mr. Zhu Jiangming and the teams from both sides of our great companies for their leadership and collaboration in creating this new opportunity for both of us,” said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.
The Stellantis N.V. and Leapmotor joint venture aims to boost the Chinese EV maker’s sales in China. Leapmotor also hopes to leverage Stellantis’s global commercial presence to accelerate brand sales in other regions, beginning with Europe.
Meanwhile, Stellantis intends to benefit from Leapmotor’s highly innovative and cost-efficient EV ecosystem in China to meet its electrification targets. The legacy automaker hopes to “explore mutually beneficial synergies” with Leapmotor through the joint venture.
The deal between the two companies also outlines the formation of Leapmotor International, a 51/49 Stellantis-led joint venture. It has exclusive rights for the export, sale, and manufacturing of Leapmotor products outside Greater China. The joint venture expects to start shipment by the second half of 2024.