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Economy

European Carmaker Stellantis, China’s Leapmotor Will Sell EV’s in Greece Too

May 15, 2024

ATHENS – The multinational automotive group Stellantis, formed from the 2021 the merger of the Italian–American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group said it would work with China’s electric vehicle maker Leapmotor to sell cars in nine European countries, including Greece, later in 2024.

Sales would start in September, including in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, The  , Romania, Spain and Portugal, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said at a news event in Hangzhou, China announcing the move.

Stellantis and Leapmotor, an EV startup, did not provide details on where the electric vehicles would be produced, but that the location must have the “capacity available to support the sales” and meet quality criteria and cost competitiveness.

The models launched will be the T03 and C10 models, with plans to introduce one new model annually over the next three years, Tavares said. “We expect to bring a significant boost to the international sales of these models,” he said.

Leapmotor CEO Zhu Jiangming said that the alliance with Stellantis would help his company access an extensive overseas dealership and distribution system, as well as factories around the world.

“Political and regional uncertainties in the future are likely to make it inevitable for Chinese new energy vehicle brands to manufacture globally,” Zhu said, with Greece offering subsidies to electric car buyers.

The move comes as the United States said it would put new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, advanced batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminum and medical equipment and as the US and Europe said China is overproducing electric cars and dumping them in overseas markets.

Tavares said that no decision had been taken about exactly where the Leapmotor EVs would be built in Europe, but that quality and price competitiveness were key and that they would be priced under 20,000 euros ($21,774) said Reuters.

“We can accommodate different custom duties scenarios by using or not, depending on the regions, the plants that we have inside of the (regions),” Tavares said at an official launch with Leapmotor founder and CEO Zhu Jiangming.

In March, in a bid to expand its presence in Europe, China’s leading electric car maker BYD will begin selling its top-selling Atto 3 and Seal models in Greece, which offers subsidies to transition away from internal combustion vehicles.

BYD is “just getting started” in Europe, according to the region’s CEO, Michael Shu. After dominating its home market, BYD is taking its best-selling EVs overseas to challenge legacy automakers.

Although BYD began selling EVs in Europe in 2021 (in Norway), the company only sold 15,644 electric cars in the region in 2023, which global data collection firm Data Force said gave it just a 1.1% share of the market.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Shu said BYD is just learning “how Europeans respond” to the new tech, products, and services it offers, as the market is far different than in China.

Shu acknowledged that it will take time, but BYD aims to quintuple its market share, even before it begins producing vehicles at its Hungary plant, aiming for a 5% share in hopes more consumers will switch to electric cars.

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