Chinese manufacturers are on the front of the stage, including the smallest ones. The start-up LeapMotor would thus be in discussion with Stellantis for the establishment of a technological cooperation.
Previously left behind in their own market, Chinese manufacturers have taken advantage of the explosion in the electric market to regain the advantage. Advantage that they are also trying to push for export.
Foreign manufacturers seem overwhelmed by events and the staffs are studying all the solutions to counter or even survive. Some bosses, like those of Ford or Honda, have even publicly confirmed that their Chinese rivals have a notable technological lead…
In this context, several European manufacturers are considering getting closer to a Chinese player. This is the case of the Volkswagen group, which confirmed agreements with Xpeng and SAIC a few weeks ago. These agreements will see the arrival in a few years of models from the Volkswagen and Audi brands based on Chinese technologies.
Volkswagen Group forges new partnerships with Chinese Xpeng and SAIC
Peugeot-Leaps for 2026?
In the same spirit, Stellantis is probably studying a merger with LeapMotor. The latter had indicated a month ago that he was about to sell his technologies to a major foreign group…
The Franco-Italian-American group is in a delicate position on the world’s largest market. On the side of the ex-PSA brands, the fall in sales began well before the progress of the Chinese manufacturers to reach particularly low levels. As for the ex-Fiat/Chrysler brands, the joint venture with GAC which produced Jeeps has been purely and simply closed.
For Stellantis, an agreement with LeapMotor, which enjoys a good image on the market, could make it possible to market electric SUVs or sedans more suited to the needs of Chinese customers by reducing investment. It remains to be seen for which brand: Peugeot, Citroën, return of another brand?
Faced with this “last chance” option, the question of the interest for the Chinese customer, who is very informed and eager for new products, will once again arise. Will he choose to buy the authentic Leap with its modern image? Or will he opt for a Peugeot/Citroën/etc associated with an old-world brand image, the technology of which he will know very well is that of Leap…