Chinese EV Maker Leapmotor Eyes Indian Market Following Stellantis Partnership

Stellantis secured a 20% stake in Chinese EV maker Leapmotor with a $1.6 billion investment

After BYD and MG, Leapmotor, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, is planning to penetrate the Indian market. In collaboration with the Stellantis group, which recently acquired a stake in its global operations, the company will unveil its investment and entry strategies for India. 

In the coming weeks, Leapmotor and Stellantis may announce their plans for India, as reported by TOI.

A source told TOI: 

If approved by govt, this will see the launch of budget electric cars developed by Leapmotor into India.

Currently, the Chinese EV maker offers numerous models, including:

  • T03: A small hatch with 280km range, a 55kW motor that generates 74hp and 155Nm torque.
  • C01: A mid-size sedan with a max 717km range, (RWD) 200kW motor generating 269hp and 360Nm and (AWD) 400kW motor producing 540hp and 720Nm. 
  • C11: A mid-size SUV with a 650km range, (RWD) 200kW generating 270hp and 360Nm and (AWD) 400kW motor producing 536hp and 720Nm.
Chinese EV maker Leapmotor offers numerous models (Source: Leapmotor)
(Source: Leapmotor)

Challenges for Chinese Automakers in India

Stellantis is a leading global automotive manufacturer. Also, it operates numerous brands, including Citroen, Jeep, Peugeot, Fiat, and Maserati. 

However, in India, Stellantis currently offers only Jeep and Citroen. The company aims to expand its operations, launch new brands, broaden its network, and make fresh investments.

The recent partnership between Stellantis and Leapmotor may have encouraged the Chinese company to pursue the Indian market. Other Chinese automakers in India faced challenges due to recent EV policy changes by the government.

For instance, BYD had strategic plans to expand its operations in India. However, the government didn’t approve its investment plans despite attempts with a local partner.

On the other hand, MG Motor had to incorporate an Indian partner into its operations. This happened when Sajjan Jindal’s JSW acquired a substantial stake in the company, with agreements to increase its ownership to 51% over the coming years.

As part of the agreement, the two companies established Leapmotor International. 
(Source: Leapmotor)
(Source: Leapmotor)

Final Thoughts

Last October, Stellantis invested $1.6 billion in Leapmotor, securing roughly 20% ownership in the Chinese EV manufacturer. As part of the agreement, the two companies established Leapmotor International, a new entity primarily led by Stellantis. 

Stellantis, with a 51:49 ownership split, has authorization for the export, sale, and production of Leapmotor products beyond Greater China.

Leapmotor International will take charge of the Chinese EV company’s expansion into the Indian market. This could involve setting up manufacturing facilities, establishing sales networks, and launching products tailored to the Indian market’s needs.