VW in talks with Leapmotor on tech tie-up for Jetta brand – China media

BEIJING – Volkswagen is in talks with Chinese electric vehicle startup Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology about the possibility of cooperation for Volkswagen’s Jetta brand, a Chinese media outlet reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

A joint venture between VW and state-owned Chinese automaker FAW Group could “buy” a platform of EV technologies from Leapmotor, according to the state-backed financial news website Cailianshe.

Leapmotor and VW China declined to comment. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the reported discussions between the companies.

Leapmotor unveiled on Monday a new platform it developed in-house for making vehicles, which its chief executive said it wanted to license to other automakers.

CEO Zhu Jiangming told reporters that Leapmotor was in advanced talks with two foreign companies about such a partnership, including a new player in the electric vehicle segment, which could produce Leapmotor-developed models in overseas markets.

Leapmotor’s shares in Hong Kong jumped as much as 5% in afternoon trading after the Cailianshe report, reversing earlier losses.

Volkswagen and Xpeng announced last week a partnership to jointly develop EVs on Xpeng’s ‘Edward’ platform on which the Chinese startup’s G9 model was built.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Liz Lee; Editing by Robert Birsel and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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