Currently reading: Stellantis to launch Leapmotor T03 as ultra-affordable EV for Europe
Leapmotor comes to Europe with 165-mile supermini, Model Y-sized SUV, and a new car every year until 2028

Stellantis will bring Chinese electric car maker Leapmotor’s T03 supermini and C10 SUV to European markets – including the UK – beginning in September.

The multinational giant paid £1.3 billion for a 21% stake in the eight-year-old Chinese firm and exclusive export rights late last year. 

The T03 and C10 are the first of a wave of Leapmotor models planned for export from China, with "at least one new model to be introduced every year in the next three years". 

Leapmotor International – a new company set up by the two firms for global sales – plans to be selling cars at 200 dealerships across Europe by the end of 2024. It will then target the India and Asian-Pacific, Middle East and African and South American markets.

The brand will launch in the UK in March 2025. 

The C10, a five-seat rival to the Tesla Model Y with a claimed 261-mile range and up to 228bhp, will be imported from Leapmotor’s factory in Hangzhou, eastern China, but Stellantis is likely to build the European-market T03 itself in Tychy, Poland.

The city-focused supermini will be built alongside the Jeep Avenger, Alfa Romeo Junior, Fiat 600e, and combustion-powered Fiat 500, although it isn’t yet confirmed whether production of the ageing Italian city car will be affected.

Recent reports suggested that Fiat plans to replace the 17-year-old 500 with an ICE version of the far newer 500 EV and could build both variants on the same line in Turin, Italy.

Asked by Autocar if the 500 will make way for the T03 in Poland, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said: "We do not assign vehicles to plants where there is no capacity available, so it's quite clear that whatever we decide in terms of allocation will be in a plant that has the capacity available to support the sales.

"The case that you mentioned is one possibility. Of course, it is a plant that is meeting all the quality criteria and the cost-competitiveness criteria. Now, of course, if we do that allocation, it's because there is available capacity."

Measuring just 3620mm long and having only around 100bhp and 165 miles of range, the T03 will be a close match for the Dacia Spring EV, which is also due on UK roads in the coming months.

Stellantis hasn’t yet given any indication of pricing, but it is possible that the T03 will claim a significant price advantage over its £15k rival by not being shipped over from China and therefore could become the UK’s cheapest electric car.

The C10 is priced from around £17,000 in China but would be considerably more expensive here.

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Stellantis says the Leapmotor cars are "considered complementary" to those offered by its existing brands in Europe, suggesting there are no plans to replace any model lines.

Launching these Leapmotor EVs in the UK will go some way to helping Stellantis avoid penalties imposed by the new zero-emission vehicle mandate, under which all major car makers must achieve an EV sales mix of 22% in 2024 and 28% in 2025, on the way to 80% in 2030 and stopping ICE sales entirely in 2035.

Tavares recently branded this scheme “terrible” and warned it could “kill” the UK’s automotive industry by forcing manufacturers to sell EVs at a loss.

Confirming the Leapmotor expansion plans today, Tavares said: “The creation of Leapmotor International is a great step forward in helping address the urgent global warming issue with state-of-the-art BEV models that will compete with existing Chinese brands in key markets around the world.

“Leveraging our existing global presence, we will soon be able to offer our customers price competitive and tech-centric electric vehicles that will exceed their expectations. Under [founder and CEO] Tianshu Xin’s leadership, they have built a compelling worldwide commercial and industrial strategy to quickly ramp-up the sales distribution channels to support Leapmotor’s robust growth and create value for both partners.”

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Bob Cholmondeley 15 May 2024



There are a great many people for whom £15,000 is way beyond their means, especially with rents and mortgages so expensive.

Stockholm Calling 15 May 2024

For those people that can't afford to buy new there is the used market: 75% of car sales are second hand. In any case hardly anyone buys their car outright, they are financing via a PCP.  

catnip 15 May 2024

Its like the electric era version of the Daewoo Matiz, which I seem to remember sold pretty well in the UK.

jason_recliner 15 May 2024

To all those complaining that new cars are too expensive - here ya go!