Leapmotor will enter the European market, and ZF will use its branding in Europe to help the NEV maker.
(Image credit: Leapmotor)
Leapmotor recently signed a strategic partnership agreement with German technology giant ZF Group to work together on a smart chassis for passenger cars, the Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) maker said today.
The two will jointly develop smart chassis products to provide consumers with a more personalized, intelligent and comfortable and safe driving experience, a Leapmotor press release said.
ZF is continuing to strengthen its localization strategy and will work with more partners to drive the development of EVs in China toward the next generation of mobility, the German company said.
Leapmotor will also enter the European market in the future, and ZF will use its branding in the European market to help the NEV maker's overseas expansion, according to the release.
The press release does not provide anything more on Leapmotor's entry into the European market, and this is the first time we've seen the NEV maker mention the plan.
Leapmotor has been seen as a budget EV maker since its inception, with sales previously contributed mainly by the inexpensive EV T03, which currently has a starting price range of RMB 59,900 to RMB 89,900.
The C11, which went on sale on September 29, 2021, and the C01, which went on sale on September 28, 2022, are Leapmotor's flagship models, targeting the RMB 150,000 to RMB 300,000 range.
The company delivered 12,058 vehicles in May, up 19.75 percent from 10,069 in the same month last year and up 38.18 percent from 8,726 in April.
Leapmotor's local counterpart, Neta, another budget EV maker, has been aggressively entering international markets for the past two years.
A total of 4,000 Neta EVs were shipped abroad, the latest new batch after 3,600 units were sent to overseas markets in March, Neta announced on June 6.
Thailand is Neta's home base for expanding into the ASEAN market, and the company is also actively preparing to enter the European market, Neta said.
Neta will participate in the Munich Motor Show in Germany later this year, and the Neta GT sports car will be available in overseas markets in the not-too-distant future, it said.
Back at ZF, the German tech giant has been in the Chinese market since 1981 and has set up nearly 50 manufacturing companies, four R&D centers, nearly 240 after-sales service outlets in more than 20 cities and employs about 20,000 people in China.