Stellantis has explored potentially working with Chinese EV makers, including Leapmotor, according to Bloomberg.

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Stellantis NV, Europe's second-biggest carmaker by sales, is considering a tie-up with a local electric vehicle (EV) maker to bolster its presence in the Chinese market, Bloomberg said in a report yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Stellantis has explored potentially working with Chinese EV makers, including Leapmotor, according to the report.

The carmaker is weighing options such as investing in a local EV company and establishing a business partnership that would help it grow in China, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Other global automakers, including Volkswagen, have also expressed interest in a potential partnership with Leapmotor, one of the people familiar with the matter said, according to the report.

Stellantis has a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor to sell Peugeot and Citroen vehicles in China.

Founded in 2015, Leapmotor's models on sale include the minivan T03, coupe model S01, flagship SUV model C11, and flagship sedan C01.

The company went public in Hong Kong on September 29, 2022, and its prospectus said it's the most vertically integrated emerging EV company in China.

Leapmotor has realized in-house R&D, design and manufacturing of all core systems and electronic components for smart EVs, creating Leapmotor Power, a powertrain system; Leapmotor Pilot, an autonomous driving system; and Leapmotor OS, an intelligent cockpit system, it said.

Leapmotor plans to launch 1-3 new models per year and a total of seven new all-electric vehicles by the end of 2025, according to its prospectus.

On July 20, local media outlet Cailian reported that Leapmotor was in talks with an overseas company about technology cooperation and had made substantial progress.

On August 2, Cailian reported in another article that Volkswagen's Jetta brand was in talks with Leapmotor, and that unlike the Volkswagen-Xpeng deal, Volkswagen's Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen is likely to buy out one of Leapmotor's platform technologies.

FAW has already issued an internal document stating that if the deal is finalized, the Jetta brand will primarily target the economy EV market and will move its marketing company to Hangzhou, as FAW Audi has done, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Leapmotor's Hong Kong-traded shares surged today, up nearly 12 percent at press time.

VW's Jetta brand reportedly to buy Leapmotor's EV platform

 

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