PARIS — Archer Aviation CEO Adam Goldstein and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares made a joint media appearance at the Paris Air Show this morning to promote their strategic manufacturing partnership, which Goldstein said is now “moving into the execution phase”. The companies are collaborating on the construction of a high-volume manufacturing facility for Archer’s electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft in Covington, Georgia, which they aim to have online by mid-2024. (It’s one county over from Rivian’s planned electric truck factory.)
Stellantis, the maker of automotive brands including Chrysler and Fiat, has been a strategic partner to the California-based startup since 2020 and an investor since 2021. The companies first announced their manufacturing partnership in January of this year, when they also revealed that Stellantis will provide up to $150 million in equity capital for Archer to draw upon at its discretion in 2023 and 2024 (pending certain milestones that The Air Current recently explored in more detail). At the same time, Stellantis said it also planned to increase its strategic shareholding through future purchases of Archer stock in the open market.
Stellantis has since made good on its promise. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on May 22, the company reported making four separate purchases of Archer stock on the open market over a four-day period from May 16 to May 19. The price paid per share ranged from $2.54 to $3.22, for a total investment of $10.9 million.
When asked whether the automaker had considered acquiring Archer outright, Tavares said that Stellantis intends to remain a minority shareholder “so that we can protect what is best at Archer, which is agility, creativity, speed, and focus on the execution.” But he left the door open to additional cooperation in the future.
“Right now we have around 30 to 40 people from Stellantis who are collaborating mostly in manufacturing with Archer, but of course, we do not limit that,” he said. “And if there are other areas where we can collaborate, we will discuss and eventually decide.”
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