Stellantis has purchased a 21% stake in EV manufacturer Leapmotor for $1.6 billion, aiming to solidify its position in China, the world’s top car market.
Stellantis secures a 21% stake in Leapmotor for $1.6 billion.
The collaboration allows Stellantis to export and produce Leapmotor’s products outside of China.
This move is seen as Stellantis’ strategy to cement its foothold in China amidst increasing competition.
As reported by Reuters, Stellantis, the global automaker born from the merger of France’s PSA and Fiat Chrysler, has taken significant steps to strengthen its presence in China by securing a 21% stake in the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Leapmotor. The deal, worth $1.6 billion, aims to bolster Stellantis’ footprint in the world’s largest car market by sales volume.
China’s prominence in the EV sector has grown exponentially, with domestic manufacturers launching affordable models in Europe. Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, emphasized the strategic importance of the deal, suggesting it positions the company to benefit from China’s EV surge rather than be overshadowed by it.
Historically, Stellantis has faced challenges in the Chinese market. This new partnership appears to be part of a broader strategy to rejuvenate its standing, especially since Stellantis previously expressed concerns about the rise of affordable Chinese EVs in Europe. Through the joint venture, Stellantis will have exclusive rights to distribute, sell, and produce Leapmotor’s offerings outside Greater China.
Some industry analysts view this as a smart move by Stellantis, highlighting China’s leadership in EV technology and cost benefits. However, not all share this optimism. Concerns linger about whether minority stake collaborations can genuinely help foreign brands rejuvenate their performance in China.
The partnership also reflects Stellantis’ ambition to expand its EV range, aligning with its 2030 goals of having EVs represent all its sales in Europe and half in the U.S. Leapmotor, known for its EV platforms, has expressed its openness to foreign partnerships, signaling possible future collaborations between global automakers and Chinese EV startups.