Stellantis, the automotive home to renowned brands like Jeep and Chrysler, has joined forces with a Chinese startup in a bid to actively participate in the intensifying global electric vehicle (EV) competition.
In an announcement made on Thursday, the Dutch multinational revealed its acquisition of a 20% stake in Leapmotor, an EV manufacturer based in Hangzhou, for approximately €1.5 billion (almost $1.6 billion).
The collaboration establishes a joint venture where Stellantis secures exclusive rights to manufacture, export, and distribute Leapmotor’s electric vehicles beyond Greater China, with initial plans to penetrate the European market.
Maintaining a controlling interest of 51%, Stellantis will oversee the joint venture, while Leapmotor holds a 49% stake. Anticipated to commence shipments in the latter half of 2024, this strategic partnership aligns with Stellantis’ commitment to introducing over 75 fully electric models by 2030.
The agreement allows Stellantis to capitalize on Leapmotor’s “cost-efficient EV ecosystem” to advance its electric fleet objectives. The collaborative effort underscores the growing interest among established automakers in Chinese EV manufacturers, given their capacity to swiftly produce electric vehicles at a lower cost, enabling more competitive pricing for consumers.