Next-generation electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer Archer has announced a significant deepening of its industrial and strategic partnership with European automotive giant Stellantis, under which the producer of Chrysler, Fiat, Peugeot, and other car brands will contribute advanced manufacturing technology, expertise, and capital to the operation of the air taxi company’s future Covington, Georgia, Midnight plane factory.
Stellantis and Archer said they’d significantly deepened their previous cooperation by formally uniting their forces in the production of the Midnight eVTOL, with the Santa Clara-based startup bringing its advancing air taxi development experience and the automotive company providing large-scale manufacturing capacities, experienced personnel, and cash via two different forms of equity stakes.
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According to a press release from the two companies, the accord calls for Stellantis’ automotive production muscle to enable the rapid scaling of air taxi manufacturing at pace with the startup’s post-certification eVTOL marketing plans. At the same time, that cooperation will permit Archer to launch and ramp up its aircraft output activity without having to invest the heavy funds that such zero-to-one industrial launches usually require.
Stellantis’ objective under the deal is to mass-produce Archer’s eVTOL aircraft as its exclusive contract manufacturer, while also increasing its equity stake in its air taxi partner through $150 million in capital it is making available over the next two years. Amsterdam-based Stellantis also plans to purchase publicly traded shares in Archer to reinforce its existing position.
“We’ve been working closely with Archer for the past two years, and I am continually impressed by their ingenuity and unwavering commitment to deliver,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “Deepening our partnership with Archer as a strategic investor with plans for growing our shareholding demonstrates how Stellantis is pushing the boundaries to provide sustainable freedom of mobility, from the road to the sky. Supporting Archer with our manufacturing expertise is another example of how Stellantis will lead the way the world moves.”
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Along with other traditional backers like United Airlines, Archer has worked with Stellantis in its eVTOL development efforts since 2020, and is now tightening that relationship as it progresses toward expected 2024 certification of its air taxi, and launch of commercial services the following year.
“Stellantis’ continued recognition of Archer’s progress toward commercialization, and today’s commitment of significant resources to build the Midnight aircraft with us, places Archer in a strong position to be first to market,” said Adam Goldstein, CEO of Archer. “Our two companies are taking these important steps together to realize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine urban transportation.”