Second Leapmotor car made in Europe, A12, will come with Lidar

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Yesterday we brought news that production of the Leapmotor T03 had already begun in Poland with full mass production due by September. The next model set for Polish production is believed to be a new SUV which goes via the internal codename of A12. Reports claim it will come with Lidar and high-end intelligent driving functions.

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The car which has already been spied testing may get an unveiling at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November. Leapmotor founder Zhu Jiangming recently outlined the company’s strategy saying that it would have four series of products by 2026. Currently, most of Leapmotor’s products fall into the C series which is aimed at the 150,000 yuan (20,650 USD) level market in China. The only product currently on sale that falls outside this is the T03 which was the company’s second model after the discontinued S01 coupe. In future the T series will mainly be aimed at overseas markets. The A series of which the A12 is the first model will focus on the 100,000 yuan (13,800 USD) level market. Finally, there will also be a new D series which will be aimed at the market above 200,000 yuan (27,550 USD).

Leapmotor founder Zhu Jiangming speaking

According to Fast Technology the new A12 will come with Lidar and high-end intelligent driving technology. If this is true, the new SUV will be highly competitive. The compact SUV is expected to come with both pure EV and extended range EV powertrains. Claims regarding the Lidar in the A12 are based on an interview Zhu Jiangming recently gave claiming that Leapmotor would release an A-class car next year priced at 100,000 yuan (13,800 USD) which may be equipped with Lidar and urban NOA functions.

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Zhu has claimed that Leapmotor will take a leaf out of BYD’s book and be very focused on cost control. Through this as sales grow the cost advantage will be more significant and coupled with this refined management and product strength will be key factors.

Leapmotor’s second model to be produced at the Stellantis plant in Tychy, Poland is set to roll off the line next year. Reuters quoted analysts at Jeffries saying that sourcing of local components had already begun.

The news follows the EU announcement that tariffs on EVs imported from China would commence from July 4. Last year Stellantis acquired a fifth of Leapmotor and subsequently formed a joint venture, Leapmotor International under which Stellantis has the controlling 51% stake. The venture allows Stellantis to build, export, and sell Leapmotor products outside China.

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Editor’s note:

Some years back I got to drive the Leapmotor T03 and I was very impressed given the price the level of equipment it came with, which included driving assistance aids. Time has obviously moved on but if Leapmotor really can produce a car with Lidar for around the 100,000 yuan level it would be amazing.

Updated: This article was updated to reflect the comments by Zhu Jiangming which gave rise to the story about the A12 coming with Lidar.

Sources: Fast Technology, Reuters, Autohome

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