JSW Group in Dialogue with Chinese Automaker Leapmotors for Licensing its Technology to Build EVs in India


According to people familiar with the discussions, India's steel-to-energy JSW Group is in preliminary talks with Chinese automaker Leapmotor to license technology to build electric vehicles in India. As per the sources, JSW would use Leapmotor's platform - the structural underpinnings of a car on which it is built - to manufacture EVs in India under its own brand name under the technology licensing agreement, marking the company's second attempt to enter the growing market.

In line with one of the sources, JSW is likely to use a single platform on which to build at least three mid-sized sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), with Leapmotor also engineering the vehicles for the Indian company. The group has also been in talks to buy a stake in MG Motor India, which is owned by China's SAIC Motor Corp, for its EV push in the country, but those talks have stalled, according to the person.

The EV market in India is small, with Tata Motors dominating sales that accounted for less than 2% of all cars sold in the previous fiscal year. However, growth is rapid, and the government hopes to increase EV sales to 30% of total sales by 2030.

"JSW wants to sell cars under its own brand, for which they need the technology more than an investment or joint venture in an existing carmaker," one of the sources said, adding that the company was also in talks with a few other Chinese automakers.