Jeep and Ram owner will launch affordable electric vehicles next year
Stellantis, the parent company behind Jeep, Ram, Dodge and 11 other companies, will launch several new affordable electric vehicles in 2024. The automaker aims to lower prices for electric models to compete with industry leaders like Tesla and upcoming Chinese electric car makers.
Jeep owner takes stake in Leapmotor
Days after announcing that it would invest $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) in Chinese electric car maker Leapmotor, Jeep owner Stellantis explained its plans to launch a new brand of affordable electric cars.
Through a new joint venture, Stellantis and Leapmotor will target the electric vehicle brand at “cost-conscious” buyers who “want the best technology in their products,” CFO Natalie Knight explained on the company’s third-quarter earnings call.
Stellantis is taking a roughly 20% stake in Leapmotor to leverage its electric vehicle technology to deliver “affordable mobility solutions to global customers.”
Knight said the new electric car company will debut in Europe, followed by other global markets. Stellantis, Jeep’s parent company, will own 51% of the new electric vehicle brand, as it looks to achieve its Dare Forward 2030 goals through a cost-effective ecosystem.
New affordable electric cars are coming next year
Stellantis says the new EV brand is “complimentary” to Stellantis’ existing technologies and products. The 15th brand will add another dimension to the Stellantis portfolio as it looks to compete in the era of electric vehicles.
Knight said the new company will attract customers with affordable electric vehicles and advanced technology offerings. In fact, the company’s CFO explained that Stellantis is excited to learn from a leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer.
The partnership will give Stellantis insights into “what is best in class.” Stellantis will learn more about the leading electric vehicle 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 electric vehicle space.”
These comments come two weeks after Stellantis launched the low-cost Citroen e-C3 electric car. Stellantis calls the e-C3 “the first affordable European electric car,” and pricing starts at $24,500 (€23,000).
The new e-C3 signals a “new chapter” for the Citroen brand as it looks to meet Europe’s growing need for affordable electric vehicles.
Powered by a 44 kWh LFP battery, the electric vehicle has a range of up to 199 miles (320 km) within the WLTP range. For the first time, the e-C3 will use a version of Stellantis’ ‘Smart Car’ platform. The platform is currently being used in India, offering lower prices.
Knight explained that the new e-C3 is “very important to us” as an affordable and accessible electric option. The financial leader added that Stellantis’ “platform thinking” enables cost reductions.
Stellantis released its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, showing 37% growth in global electric vehicle 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 United States next year, including the first electric vehicles from Jeep and Ram. The Ram 1500 REV electric truck, Jeep Recon and Wagoneer S will hit the U.S. market next year.
As the share of electric vehicles in major automotive markets globally continues to rise, price has become the primary focus.
Global electric vehicle leaders, including Tesla and BYD, have been cutting prices all year, forcing other automakers to follow suit. Although several automakers, including Ford and General Motors, have delayed major electric vehicle goals, other companies are redoubling their efforts as they look toward the future.
Producing cheap electric cars is one thing, but building low-cost (profitable) electric cars that provide value to customers is a winning strategy.
However, Stellantis will need to move on. The company is already lagging behind in North America, and Chinese electric vehicle makers are quickly gaining market share in Europe and beyond. The decision to partner with Leapmotor is likely to pay off. Stellantis can now learn the ins and outs from a leader in the world’s largest electric vehicle market. Most importantly, he has access to his own technology.
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