Stellantis, the parent company behind Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and 11 others, is launching several new affordable EVs in 2024. The automaker aims to reduce prices on electric models to take on industry leaders like Tesla and incoming Chinese EV makers.
Jeep owner takes stake in Leapmotor
Days after announcing it will invest $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) in Chinese EV maker Leapmotor, Jeep owners Stellantis explained its plans to launch a new affordable EV brand.
Through a new joint venture, Stellantis and Leapmotor will aim the EV brand at “cost-conscious” buyers that “want the best technology in their products,” CFO Natalie Knight explained on the company’s Q3 earnings call.
Stellantis is taking a roughly 20% stake in Leapmotor to leverage its EV technology to bring “affordable mobility solutions to global customers.”
Knight said the new electric car company will first launch in Europe, followed by other global markets. Jeep parent company Stellantis will own 51% of the new EV brand as it looks to meet its Dare Forward 2030 targets with a cost-efficient ecosystem.
New affordable EVs coming next year
Stellantis says the new EV brand is “complimentary” to Stellantis’ current tech and products. The 15th brand will add another dimension to Stellantis’ portfolio as it looks to compete in the EV era.
Knight said the new company will attract customers with affordable EVs and advanced tech offerings. In fact, the company’s CFO explained that Stellantis is excited to learn from a leading Chinese EV maker.
The partnership will give Stellantis insights into “what best in class looks like.” Stellantis will learn more about the leading EV market and the price differences between Chinese and Western automakers.
Knight added that “markets will do what they do,” but Stellantis is focused on speed and agility to “become a winner in the EV space.”
The comments come two weeks after Stellantis launched the low-cost Citroen e-C3 electric car. Stellantis calls the e-C3 “the first European affordable electric car,” starting at $24,500 (€23,000).
The new e-C3 “signals a new chapter” for the Citroen brand as it looks to tackle Europe’s growing need for affordable EVs.
Powered by a 44 kWh LFP battery, the electric car has up to 199 miles (320 km) WLTP range. As a first, the e-C3 will use a version of Stellantis’ “Smart Car ” platform. The platform is currently used in India, enabling lower prices.
Knight explained the new e-C3 is “so important to us” as an affordable, accessible electric option. The financial leader added Stellantis’ “platform thinking” is enabling lower costs.
Stellantis released its Q3 earnings Tuesday, showing 37% growth in global EV sales. The increase was led by the new Jeep Avenger, Citroen Ami, Peugeot E-208, and Fiat New 500e.
The automaker’s first all-electric models will launch in the US next year, including the first EVs from Jeep and Ram. Ram’s 1500 REV electric truck and the Jeep Recon and Wagoneer S will hit the US market next year.
As electric vehicle share continues rising in key auto markets globally, price is becoming a primary focus.
Global EV leaders, including Tesla and BYD, have cut prices all year, forcing other automakers to follow suit. Although several automakers, including Ford and GM, have delayed key EV targets, others are doubling down as they look toward the future.
Producing cheap EVs is one thing, but building electric cars at a low cost (profitably) that offers value to customers is a winning strategy.
However, Stellantis will need to get a move on. The company is already behind in North America, and Chinese EV makers are quickly gaining market share in Europe and overseas. The decision to partner with Leapmotor will likely pay off. Stellantis can now learn the ins and outs from a leader in the biggest EV market globally. More importantly, it can access its tech.
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