Leapmotor International T03 electric vehicle.

Stellantis Venture Assembling EVs in Europe

June 18, 2024
Leapmotor – a business 51%-owned by the Italian-French automaker – is producing small electric vehicles at a Fiat and Chrysler assembly plant in Poland, competing with Chinese manufacturing costs and avoiding potential EU tariffs.

A Stellantis joint venture with a Chinese automaker has started assembling small battery-electric vehicles at a Stellantis plant in Poland, for distribution in Europe. The Leapmotor International T03 is a five-door, urban commuter car with a 265-km range. The new vehicles will be available for purchase later this year.

Leapmotor International is the joint venture led by Stellantis (51%) with Chinese EV manufacturer Leapmotor, and inaugurated last month. While Stellantis intends to acquire a 21% stake in its partner Leapmotor, an investment reported to be worth $1.6 billion, the purpose of the j.v. is to produce the vehicles in Europe at competitive costs and to avoid potential import tariffs.

“The creation of Leapmotor International is a great step forward in helping address the urgent global warming issue with state-of-the-art BEV models that will compete with existing Chinese brands in key markets around the world,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares stated in May. “Leveraging our existing global presence, we will soon be able to offer our customers price competitive and tech-centric electric vehicles that will exceed their expectations.”

The new vehicles reportedly are being assembled at a Fiat and Chrysler plant in Tychy, Poland, where manufacturing costs are said to be comparable to those in China.

Leapmotor International also plans to add an assembly of an electric SUV, the A12, at Tychy, starting in 2025. Another SUV model will be assembled in China.