Stellantis, whose portfolio of 16 car brands includes Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati, has concluded a deal with Archer Aviation that will see the car manufacturing giant take on the manufacture of the Midnight eVTOL at the recently announced Archer facility in Covington in the southeastern US state of Georgia.
The companies say that their partnership “will leverage each company’s respective strengths and competencies to bring the Midnight aircraft to market”. Under the terms of the agreement, Archer will focus on the design and certification of the aircraft, while Stellantis will concentrate on developing the manufacturing capability to rapidly build up production once certification has been granted.
At the end of last year, Archer made what has been regarded as bullish predictions for delivery and production rates. It says that the partnership will “enable the rapid scaling of aircraft production to meet commercialisation plans while allowing the company to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars of spending during the manufacturing ramp-up phase”.
In addition, Stellantis will contribute up to US$150 million in equity capital during 2023 and 2024 – although the capital injection comes with provisos and is dependent on “certain business milestones, expected to occur in 2023”. Stellantis has also indicated that in the longer term, it “intends to increase its strategic shareholding through future purchases of Archer stock in the open market”.