Fiat will soon make affordable Chinese electric cars in Europe

It was only a matter of time: after the surprise agreement between Stellantis (a group of Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat and Jeep) and the Chinese Leapmotor, we knew that Chinese electric cars were going to be manufactured in European factories. The chosen site would be a Fiat factory in Poland, which would begin production of the small Leapmotor T03 from spring 2024. Here is everything you need to know.

Leapmotor T03 // Source: Marie Lizak for Frandroid

We know it: the rapid electrification of the automobile market is completely reshuffling the cards, and opening the door to partnerships that no one would have ever thought of. Stellantis (the sprawling group of Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep and Opel, among others) for example created a surprise by teaming up with Leapmotor, a virtually unknown Chinese electric car manufacturer.

This agreement allowed Leapmotor to arrive in Europe by benefiting from Stellantis' sales force, but also to have its cars assembled in the group's factories there. If the historic Mirafiori factory in Italy was at one time considered, it seems that the decision was made on the ex-Fiat site in Tychy, Poland. And production could begin very quickly.

A somewhat special production from spring 2024

This is the press agency Reuters who tells us the news, citing two sources close to the matter. According to them, the Tychy site, a historic Fiat factory which currently assembles the Jeep Avenger, Fiat 600 and the 500 thermal, should begin production of the Leapmotor T03 “from the second quarter of 2024”.

Leapmotor T03 // Source: Marie Lizak for Frandroid

The small Chinese electric car will be assembled using the so-called technique “semi-knocked down” (SKD). Concretely, the factory will receive kits with partially assembled cars, which it will therefore be responsible for completing.

Very concrete benefits?

Note that the Leapmotor T03 is already sold in France. We have even tried it already, and we found that it was not unworthy, but its manufacture in China now prevents it from accessing the ecological bonus. In fact, its 25,990 euros are more complicated to defend.

Leapmotor T03 // Source: Marie Lizak for Frandroid

In fact, perhaps this European “semi-manufacturing” could enable it to obtain the government incentive of 4,000 euros, which would make it much more competitive, particularly against the Dacia Spring. As a reminder, the T03 has a 41 kWh battery, enough to promise 280 km according to the WLTP cycle.

This T03 is also only the first step in Leapmotor's arrival in France. We know that the C10, an SUV competing with the Tesla Model Y and Renault Scénic E-Tech, will one day arrive in our region, but its place of production remains to be defined.

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