Will LEAPMOTOR'S Global Push Set a Successful Blueprint for Chinese Carmakers?

Will LEAPMOTOR’s journey abroad provide a successful model for Chinese car companies to explore overseas?

On May 14th, after more than 200 days of negotiations, the dust has finally settled — LEAPMOTOR International, a joint venture established by LEAPMOTOR and Stellantis Group, was officially established.

For LEAPMOTOR, the vast sea allows for boundless leaps, the high sky allows for unrestricted flights, and there is now a greater market potential waiting for LEAPMOTOR to ignite. As for Stellantis, facing the wave of electrification, they now have an efficient entry point.

Not long ago at the Beijing Auto Show, LEAPMOTOR CEO, Ju Jiangmin, stated that the coming year would be a ‘bumper year’ for LEAPMOTOR overseas. Looking at it now, the seed has officially been planted into the soil. Whether or not this leads to a ‘bumper year’, and how it could lead to such, was discussed by Ju Jiangmin and Stellantis Group CEO, Carlos TAVARES, at a group interview during the establishment announcement of LEAPMOTOR International joint venture.

Below is the main content of the group interview, edited without changing the original intention.

Q: Compared to other Chinese car companies going abroad, what are the unique features of the LEAPMOTOR International joint venture model?

Ju Jiangmin: Our cooperation with the Stellantis Group is a strong alliance.

On one hand, after years of development, the market share of China’s new energy vehicles has reached 45% by last month, and has even exceeded 50% for several weeks. Therefore, based on large-scale applications, the cost structure of the new energy vehicle market system and product competitiveness in terms of performance, quality, and price are all very advantageous.

On the other hand, Stellantis Group also achieved great success last year with sales of over 6 million vehicles and a net profit of over 18 billion, operating very well and very healthily, very competitive in the market beyond China.

Through this strong alliance, we can quickly establish many sales outlets, service outlets, and spare parts distribution outlets; at the same time, with the endorsement of Stellantis, overseas users can use LEAPMOTOR’s products with ease.

In addition, we can more effectively utilize Stellantis Group’s global manufacturing resources, thus speeding up localized manufacturing and solving import duties and other issues, which other enterprises cannot reach at the moment.

Q: What is the product sales model of LEAPMOTOR International?

Carlos TAVARES: Our goal is to increase the sales of LEAPMOTOR models in the global market.

At the same time, from the first day of sales, we will ensure that there are enough spare parts to support users. They will not have to wait for spare parts to be shipped from distant China — we have 130 sales centers in Europe with particularly short delivery cycles. In addition, our dealers also have powerful capabilities.Q: What impact and changes will LEAPMOTOR International bring to the European electric vehicle industry?

Carlos TAVARES: There is a very good relationship between Europe and China, and as a global company, Stellantis is also promoting global fair trade, cooperation and win-win.

We do not want to see a fragmented world, we feel that if this is the case, there will be no way to enable us to collectively deal with common problems facing humanity, such as public health, global trade, global warming and a variety of global issues.

I think the establishment of LEAPMOTOR International in cooperation with Mr. Zhu is a very good example, we can achieve a win-win, able to help LEAPMOTOR and Stellantis further improve profitability.

Q: Will LEAPMOTOR International’s products be sold under the LEAPMOTOR brand?

Carlos TAVARES: The goal of LEAPMOTOR International is to sell LEAPMOTOR models to markets outside China, so this question is very simple, that is, to sell with the LEAPMOTOR brand.

Q: What kind of evaluation does Mr. Zhu have for the Stellantis Group?

Zhu Jiangming: I think the Stellantis Group is similar to China’s private enterprises, they are efficient and give the team’s KPIs that exceed our imagination —— LEAPMOTOR International will not lose money in the first year, but achieve profit.

The main members of the LEAPMOTOR International team come from the Stellantis Group, so I am confident in LEAPMOTOR International and believe that it will definitely achieve high performance in the future.

Q: What does Carlos TAVARES think of LEAPMOTOR?

Carlos TAVARES: Thank you Mr. Zhu, Mr. Zhu was very polite just now.

Although Stellantis is a large company, it can move quickly. We must have the concept and spirit of a startup, and make decisions quickly. At the same time, I also don’t want to slow down LEAPMOTOR’s speed, because it is not in our interest.

The LEAPMOTOR team is very hardworking, and they have a lot of creativity, a lot of energy, and strong execution, and they can well realize our ideas on the market.

So we can see that we have a lot of common ground and we are very satisfied. We are all racers, we are all companies running.

Q: What is the configuration of the LEAPMOTOR International management team?

Zhu Jiangming: LEAPMOTOR International is facing markets outside the Greater China region, and the entire team is mainly composed of the Stellantis team and senior executives of LEAPMOTOR.

Q: What kind of decision-making mechanism will LEAPMOTOR International use for some major decisions?

Carlos TAVARES: Our decision is made within the LEAPMOTOR International joint venture. It is mainly organized by our CEO for discussion and decision-making, and shareholders will also participate in major decisions.

Q: Will LEAPMOTOR International introduce vehicles like BYD in Europe in the future?Zhu Jiangming: As just introduced, we will launch T03 and C10 in September. In the next three years, we will launch another four models.

Q: How will LEAPMOTOR price its cars in Europe?

Carlos TAVARES: The components of our cars are sourced in China, which is extremely cost-effective. This means that in the European market, we can effectively compete with other Chinese new energy manufacturers.

Our current vision and spirit are to apply the most advanced technology of LEAPMOTOR, helping us to provide economical cars, and also to achieve the target of zero carbon emission.

This article is a translation by AI of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.