June 22, 2024

Chinese electric vehicle company Leapmotor to introduce affordable models in UK

Leapmotor, a startup Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, is set to enter the UK market in March 2025 with two models: the compact T03 and the larger C10 SUV.

As part of the joint venture between Leapmotor and Stellantis, known as Leapmotor International, the company will launch sales in nine European countries in September. The collaboration, with Stellantis owning 51% and Leapmotor owning 49%, aims to establish 200 dealerships across Europe by the end of 2024.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, announced the partnership at an industry event in Hangzhou, revealing plans to expand to Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, and Portugal in September before entering the UK market later on. Additionally, Leapmotor intends to explore markets in South America, the Middle East, Africa, India, and the Asia Pacific region by the end of the year.

While production locations have not been officially disclosed, speculation suggests that the smaller T03 model could be manufactured at Stellantis’ Tychy factory in Poland, which currently produces various EVs for the company.

Joining other Chinese EV manufacturers eyeing European expansion, Leapmotor’s entry has raised concerns among European counterparts about market share losses. In response, the EU has initiated an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EV imports.

Chinese automakers like Chery Auto, BYD, SAIC, XPeng, and Geely are also making significant investments in Europe to establish production bases and compete with established European brands.

These developments underscore Chinese EV manufacturers’ strategic efforts to gain a foothold in the European market by leveraging cost advantages and advanced technology.

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