Leapmotor and Stellantis recently made a deal through which the latter will invest $1.61 in the former while in return getting a 20% share stake and access to its EV platform. We initially thought that would only be used in the Chinese market, where Stellantis doesn't have a great market position at the moment.
As it turns out, the deal was much more encompassing than just that. Starting late next year, Leapmotor will essentially become Stellantis' affordable EV brand, first in Europe and then in other global markets too.Leapmotor C11
The two companies established a joint-venture registered in the Netherlands, called Leapmotor International, for this purpose. Stellantis holds 51% of its shares, with Leapmotor having the rest.
This company will seemingly be the one that will handle the European sales of Leapmotor models, which will presumably benefit from Stellantis' extensive dealer and service network on the continent. This move has the potential to shake up the European EV market in a big way, if the Leapmotor cars will indeed actually be affordable - and not just a tiny bit cheaper than their competitors.
By 2030, Leapmotor International wants to sell at least 500,000 cars each year outside of China, which is not an overly ambitious goal, but maybe that's for the best - underpromise and overdeliver, as the saying goes.
The Leapmotor cars will interestingly have some competition from Stellantis' other brands too. The recently announced Citroen e-C3, for example, and also future models from FIAT and Opel that will use the same platform.