The European automobile group Stellantis and the Chinese manufacturer Leapmotor have created a joint venture to market the Asian firm’s affordable electric cars. As explained by the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, two models of the Chinese brand – the T03 and C10 – will be sold in nine European countries – France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece and Romania. starting in September, with the idea of ​​presenting a new one annually for the next three years. Already in the fourth quarter of 2024, these Chinese vehicles will also be exported to the Middle East and Africa – Turkey, Israel and overseas France -, India and Asia Pacific – Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and India – and South America (Brazil and Chili).

In October 2023, the large European group announced the purchase of 21% of the capital of the Chinese firm for about 1.5 billion euros. The operation also outlined the formation of Leapmotor International, which would have exclusive rights to export, market and manufacture the Chinese company’s products outside its country. This aims to boost Leapmotor sales in China and take advantage of Stellantis’ global commercial presence to accelerate its commercial expansion in other regions.

This business operation may explain why the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, has positioned himself against the imposition of tariffs on imports of electric vehicles from China, since he believes that they are not “a long-term solution.” In his opinion, these protectionist measures will cause higher inflation and undermine efforts to combat the climate crisis through the expansion of electric mobility.

The manager is in favor of selling affordable zero-emission cars, like those manufactured by Leapmotor. Hence, it has partnered with the Asian company to increase sales of this type of automobile. Stellantis will use its own distribution channels and services to market the Chinese firm’s models.

Regarding the models that will arrive in Spain and other European countries, we can explain that the C10 is Leapmotor’s first global product, built in accordance with global design and safety standards. It is an electric SUV in the D segment with a length of 473 centimeters and a range of 420 kilometers. For its part, the T03 is an urban electric car, with a length of 3.63 meters and a 70 kW motor. Its official maximum range is around 280 kilometers.

It is unknown if Stellantis will take the production of Leapmotor brand models to one of its plants in Spain in Zaragoza, Vigo or Madrid. As reported by Europa Press, Tavares has indicated that the company bases its decisions on the cost of transforming the plant, as well as the quality of its performance.

“These are the two drivers for the accommodation decision. As I’ve said so far, that decision hasn’t been made, but these are the criteria we’re going to use: Where is the best quality? Where is the best cost? and Do we have available capacity in that specific plant?”, stated the head of the European automobile group, which includes the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Fiat, Abarth, Jeep, Opel and Alfa Romeo brands.