Stellantis weighs EV tie-up to expand in China, report says

Spokespeople for Stellantis and Volkswagen declined to comment, while a Leapmotor representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

A partnership would fit with the “asset-light” strategy in China that Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has floated, after the company halted production in its only Jeep plant in China last year and weighed ending all carmaking in the country. Tavares said in July he is happy with his decision to downsize, saying rivals Volkswagen and General Motors are “under pressure” in China as vehicle producers slash prices.

Stellantis still has a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co. to sell Peugeot and Citroën cars in China. The incoming CFO of the automaking giant, formed from the 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Group, said in July that figuring out China is key because of the country’s importance in the shift to EVs.

Global carmakers have been eyeing the Chinese EV market as they seek to expand in the world’s second-largest economy. Volkswagen last month said it plans to invest $700 million in Xpeng Inc. and jointly develop electric vehicles in China.

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