(Bloomberg) -- Stellantis NV plans to offer electric vehicles co-developed with Zhejiang Leapmotor Technologies Ltd. in South America — including top market Brazil — after the two companies struck a deal to build and sell the cars outside China.

The Netherlands-based automotive group, which owns brands such as Jeep, Fiat, Peugeot and Citroen, will expand its engine factory in Betim, Brazil to handle the increased output, according to Emanuele Cappellano, Stellantis’s chief operating officer for South America. 

Capacity at the factory, in Minas Gerais state, will ramp up to around 1.1 million engines per year from 750,000 currently after an initial 454 million reais ($88.9 million) investment this year, Cappellano told reporters Monday in Betim. A new 32 billion reais investment cycle, announced in March, for the 2025-2030 period, sets aside another 14 billion reais for the plan.

“South America is interested in both things, in the Leapmotor brand and also in expanding the menu of available technologies, leveraging an experience that Leapmotor has in China and other parts of the world,” Cappellano said.

Stellantis said last week it would begin offering Leapmotor products in the region by the fourth quarter.


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