Stellantis stops criticising Chinese language carmakers lengthy sufficient to purchase into one

In a surprising about-face, Stellantis, probably the most vocal critics of Chinese language electrical automobile makers and European commerce coverage, is shopping for into one, Leapmotor, and serving to it export automobiles to Europe.

Phrases are simply phrases

For some time now, Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, has railed towards Chinese language automakers flooding Europe with electrical automobiles (EVs) that considerably undercut native rivals.

At this yr’s Shopper Electronics Present in Las Vegas, Mr Tavares claimed, “Regulation in Europe ensures that electrical automobiles in-built Europe are about 40 per cent costlier than comparable automobiles made in China.”

Chatting with Automotive Information Europe, the Stellantis CEO stated Europe had two selections: “preserve the European market open” with automakers and the provision chain slowly shifting manufacturing to cheaper places, or having a extra restrictive commerce coverage with China in order that Europe may “re-industrialise”.

Now he’s singing the praises of the Chinese language auto business.

In a press assertion at present, Mr Tavares stated: “As consolidation unfolds among the many succesful electrical automobiles startups in China, it turns into more and more obvious {that a} handful of environment friendly and agile new era EV gamers, like Leapmotor, will come to dominate the mainstream segments in China.

“We really feel it’s the proper time to take a number one function in supporting the worldwide growth plans of Leapmotor, probably the most spectacular new EV gamers who has an analogous tech-first, entrepreneurial mindset to ours.”

The deal

At a signing ceremony in a single day, Stellantis confirmed it will make investments €1.5 billion ($2.5 billion) in Leapmotor, buying about 21 per cent of the Chinese language automaker.

As a part of the deal, Stellantis will achieve two seats on Leapmotor’s board, in addition to a controlling 51 per cent stake in a brand new three way partnership agency that will probably be in command of Leapmotor’s world export and distribution community, in addition to the Chinese language agency’s future manufacturing operations outdoors of “Higher China”.

The 2 automakers plan to start exporting Leapmotor merchandise to Europe from the second half of 2024, though it’s unclear at this stage which fashions Stellantis and Leapmotor are planning to promote in Europe.

Based in 2015, Leapmotor is predicated in Hangzhou, about two hours drive from Shanghai.

Leapmotor’s present vary at the moment consists of three all-electric fashions: the T03 metropolis hatch, C01 sedan, and C11 crossover. Each the C01 and C11 may also be fitted with a 1.5-litre engine that acts as a variety extender, charging up the battery pack as obligatory.

In 2022 Leapmotor bought round 110,000 automobiles in China, which in accordance with Automotive Information makes it the ninth largest purveyor of “new power automobiles” within the nation.

Stellantis says its funding will assist Leapmotor obtain its objective of overlaying each phase from metropolis automobiles to giant automobiles.

Again within the PRC

Right this moment’s announcement is the primary main funding in China since Stellantis it started scaling again its ambitions in China round 2022, when it closed its three way partnership Jeep factories.

As early entrants to the Chinese language market Peugeot, Citroen and Jeep loved success by way of till the noughties. They started to battle as extra overseas corporations entered the nation. Their decline accelerated as native manufacturers constructed higher automobiles, turned extra fascinating, and the nation started embracing electrical and electrified automobiles.

Jeep closed its Chinese language factories in 2022, and is now an import-only model. DS — the posh marque spun out from Citroen — made a choice of China-only fashions in China, however poor gross sales noticed it shut its three way partnership with Changan in 2020. 

Citroen and Peugeot proceed to provide automobiles in China, however final week Stellantis bought its stake in its three way partnership factories to Dongfeng, who will proceed to provide automobiles for each manufacturers below contract for not less than 10 years.

Regardless of at present’s announcement, Stellantis says it’s “dedicated to its asset-light enterprise mannequin for its overseas manufacturers in China”.


I was born on March 15, 1980, in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in the heart of Motor City, surrounded by the culture of automobiles. I had a close-knit family, including my parents, two older siblings, and a younger brother. I attended Roosevelt High School in Detroit, where my love for cars began to flourish. From a young age, I showed an early interest in automobiles. I would spend hours tinkering with my bicycle and helping my father fix up our family car. It was clear that I had a natural affinity for all things mechanical. This passion for cars led me to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

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