EqualOcean has learned that on October 26, Stellantis Group and Zhejiang Lingpao Technology Co., Ltd.(零跑汽车) will become an important shareholder of Leap Motor and will be granted two seats on the Board of Directors of Leap Motor. At the same time, the CEO of the new joint venture "Leap International(零跑国际)" will be appointed by the Stellantis Group.
Founded in 2015, Leap Motor is a leading Chinese smart electric vehicle company that develops all key hardware and software in the core systems and electronic components of smart electric vehicles. According to Frost & Sullivan, the company is currently one of the only emerging electric vehicle companies in China with full in-house R&D capabilities, and one of the few new energy vehicle companies in the Chinese market with full in-house R&D capabilities. The company's platform-based development of systems and electronic components from the ground up enables highly flexible reuse across different EV models, which in turn improves R&D efficiency and reduces costs. In addition, the company is one of the most vertically integrated emerging EV companies in China, realizing independent R&D, design and manufacturing of all core systems and electronic components for smart EVs, and successfully building Leapmotor Power, Leapmotor Pilot and Leapmotor OS.
According to the official website of Leap Motor, by focusing on China's largest and fastest-growing mid-to-high-end new energy vehicle market, Leap Motor will deliver 111,000 units of new energy vehicles in 2022, making it one of the first echelons of China's new car-making forces. In addition to further boosting Leap Motor's sales in China, the world's largest automotive market, the partnership will also begin in the European market and rely on the Stellantis Group's commercial presence in other markets around the world to further boost Leap Motor's sales in the region. It is expected that the "Leap International" joint venture will start export business in the second half of 2024.
Reviewing the financing history of Leap Motor, the company completed nine rounds of financing from 2016 to 2023, and IPO listing in September 2022, market value of HKD 37.8 billion. 2016, Dahua shares(大华股份) put out RMB 90 million to participate in the angel round of investment in Leap Motor, became one of the shareholders of Leap Motor, holding 7.88%, become the third largest shareholder under Zhu Jiangming(朱江明) and Fu Liquan(傅利泉). This year, when it was rumored that Stellantis Group would reach a strategic cooperation with Leap Motor, the old shareholders of Dahua also issued an announcement, announcing that it would liquidate its shares in Leap Motor, and intended to transfer all the shares of Leap Motor to Stellantis Group at a price of HKD 3.5 billion. However, the secondary market's reaction was that Leap Motor fell more than 10%, while the seller, Dahua, closed up 2.61%.
Stellantis' stake in Leap Motor is the first of its kind in the world, reflecting a shift in foreign investors' thinking and their recognition of China's new energy technologies. Chinese automotive brands have performed well at the Paris International Motor Show, which has attracted a large number of foreign investors to enter the market. Abu Dhabi investment institution CYVN Holdings took a stake in NIO(蔚来汽车) to help it expand its international business; Volkswagen announced a RMB 5 billion investment in Xiaopeng Automobile, signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement and became its third largest shareholder.
From the strong trend of Chinese new energy vehicles, led by Leap Motor, we can foresee that more and more Chinese new energy vehicles will have a brighter performance in the international market in the future.