Stellantis starts groundwork for Leapmotor launch in South Korea – – The Global Tofay

Stellantis starts groundwork for Leapmotor launch in South Korea - - The Global Tofay Global Today

Chosun Biz reports that Stellantis executives in South Korea plan to visit local Jeep and Peugeot dealers at the end of this month. Additionally, company officials are preparing for a trip to Leamotor headquarters in Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province), China. The city also has 53 Leapmotor showrooms.

A Stellantis official in South Korea said the company needs to “assess Leapmotor (International)’s competitiveness” in the country and is studying which dealers are willing to sell the Chinese brand’s vehicles. Leapmotor International says it plans to enter Asia-Pacific markets, but not specifically which ones.

Leapmotor International will commence operations with two models – the T03 city car and the C10 mid-size SUV. Leapmotor offers the C10 in China in pure electric and range-extender electric variants, but Leapmotor International plans to sell only the latter. The joint venture company will enter European markets in September and gradually expand to Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and South America starting in the fourth quarter (October-December).

Stellantis will manufacture the T03 at its plant in Tychy, Poland. The company is conducting prototype production and plans to move from trials to the mass production stage in September. According to an Autohome report, Stellantis’ vice president of communications in China said it can make Leapmotor products at any of its plants around the world if economically feasible.

To offset the potential loss in business because of the trade war with Europe (EU nations), Chinese automakers are increasing their focus on other Asian markets as well as the Middle East and Latin America. However, South Korea, home to strong players like Hyundai and Kia, is tough to crack. Domestic brands offer a wide range of both affordable and luxury cars, including a raft of pure electric models, and, according to a report from Maeil Business Newspaper, enjoy a high market share of nearly 80%. BYD and Zeekr also plan to sell cars in South Korea. (in Korean)

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