Leap into India: Electric vehicle maker Leapmotor teams up with Stellantis for market entry

Leapmotor and Stellantis are on the verge of revealing their plans for India, possibly within the next few weeks.

Top Indian News Desk
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Courtesy: X/@Leapmotorglobal

In a move following the footsteps of MG and BYD, Leapmotor, a prominent Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, is gearing up to enter the Indian market. Discussions with Sajjan Jindal's JSW Group have been ongoing, but Leapmotor is now poised to unveil its investment plans and entry strategy in India through a partnership with the Stellantis Group, a major player in the global automotive industry.

According to media reports, Leapmotor and Stellantis are on the verge of revealing their plans for India, possibly within the next few weeks. Pending government approval, this venture could introduce affordable electric cars developed by Leapmotor into the Indian market, thereby heightening competition in the eco-friendly vehicle segment.

Stellantis' strategic positioning

Stellantis boasts a formidable presence in the automotive sector, with a portfolio that includes renowned brands such as Citroen, Jeep, Chrysler, Peugeot, Fiat, and Maserati. While already established in India through brands like Jeep and Citroen, Stellantis aims to ramp up its operations, broaden its brand offerings, expand retail networks, and make fresh investments.

Global partnership and market confidence

The recent collaboration between Stellantis and Leapmotor has emboldened the latter to venture into the Indian market, despite stringent investment regulations concerning countries sharing a land border with India. This move echoes the challenges faced by BYD in gaining approval for its expansion plans in India and the strategic partnership formed by MG Motor with JSW Group to facilitate its operations in the country.

Stellantis-Leapmotor deal

In October last year, Stellantis announced a huge investment of USD 1.6 billion in Leapmotor, securing approximately 20% ownership in the Chinese EV company. This investment paved the way for the establishment of Leapmotor International, a joint venture predominantly led by Stellantis, responsible for the export, sale, and manufacturing of Leapmotor products outside Greater China. It is anticipated that Leapmotor's foray into India will be spearheaded by this newly formed export-oriented entity.

Thierry Koskas, Citroen brand CEO and chief sales and marketing officer for Stellantis, declined to provide further details regarding Leapmotor's potential entry into the Indian market.