With Daimler investing no less than €10 billion (about $11.2B) in the development of electric vehicles, it makes perfect sense Mercedes has reached an agreement with its Chinese partner BAIC to build EVs in the People’s Republic. In order to facilitate the assembly of zero-emissions models, investments will be made at their joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) to upgrade the factories and pave the way for the production start of these greener cars.
As part of the understanding between Daimler and BAIC, the former will also purchase a minority stake in the latter’s Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV) subsidiary as a way to further strengthen their joint efforts to build EVs in China.
As you may recall, Mercedes is preparing a total of 10 EVs all due by the middle of the next decade as part of the newly founded EQ sub-brand. These will all be underpinned by a new flexible platform created specifically to cater electric cars. The company with the three-pointed star badge might have an issue using “EQ” in China where Chery has been selling an electric city car that goes by the name of “eQ” since late 2014. In fact, Chery has actually filed a trademark complaint against Mercedes.
Mercedes has already previewed its EV agenda with the Generation EQ crossover concept (pictured here) introduced at the Paris Motor Show last September. Rumor has it a second EQ-badged showcar will be unveiled in September this year in Frankfurt and it will take the shape of a city-oriented hatchback to rival the BMW i3.
Further down the line, AMG has already made the promise there are also going to be performance cars entirely electric, much like the SLS Electric Drive offered in limited quantities several years ago.
Gallery: Mercedes Generation EQ concept
Strengthening Strategic Collaboration in New Energy Vehicle Industry: Daimler and BAIC signed a framework agreement
- Signing ceremony in context of Premier Li’s visit to Germany
- Framework agreement between Daimler and BAIC to further strengthen strategic collaboration in the NEV field in China
- As one part of the agreement Daimler intends to become minority shareholder of BAIC subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV)
- Hubertus Troska: “The framework agreement signed today marks a new chapter of our cooperation in terms of New Energy Vehicles. China today is already the world’s largest market for NEVs, and Daimler is committed to contributing to the further development of electric mobility in this country.”
- Xu Heyi: “As outstanding representatives of the Chinese and German automotive industries, BAIC and Daimler have for years worked hand in hand with remarkable success. Today’s agreement is an important step by both sides towards the future of New Energy Vehicles.”
Berlin – In the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Daimler AG and its Chinese partner BAIC Group today signed a framework agreement on further strengthening their strategic collaboration through investments for New Energy Vehicles in China.
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China, and Xu Heyi, Chairman of the BAIC Group attended the signing ceremony held in Berlin. The framework agreement will center on two significant investments. As one part of this investment agreement, Daimler intends to acquire a minority share in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV), a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, with the purpose of strengthening strategic collaboration with BAIC in the NEV sector.
As another part of the framework agreement, investment will also be placed in the upgrade of the current production facilities at their joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC), paving the way for the introduction of New Energy Vehicle production.
“Localization is the key to Daimler’s sustainable growth and future success here in China. We have been intensifying local research and development, as well as local production, to highlight the preferences of our Chinese customers. They have made this the largest market worldwide for Mercedes-Benz, and this is especially thanks to the strength of our Sino-German cooperation with local partners,” said Hubertus Troska. “This year marks the 12th year of our close partnership with BAIC, and we have deepened our Sino-German collaboration by continuously expanding into new business areas. The framework agreement signed today marks a new chapter of our cooperation in terms of New Energy Vehicles. China today is already the world’s largest market for NEVs, and Daimler is committed to contributing to the further development of electric mobility in this country.”
Chairman Xu Heyi said: “As outstanding representatives of the Chinese and German automotive industries, BAIC and Daimler have for years worked hand in hand with remarkable success. Today’s agreement is an important step by both sides towards the future of New Energy Vehicles. As the forerunner in developing New Energy Vehicles in China, BAIC’s sales of pure electric vehicles have lead the domestic industry. Daimler too has rich experience in New Energy Vehicles, having over the years accumulated advanced technical expertise. Going forward, the two sides will make use of these respective advantages in New Energy Vehicle technology and market operations to achieve win-win, mutually beneficial collaboration, as we both strive to become a benchmark of strategic cooperation between ‘Made in China 2025’ and Germany’s ‘Industry 4.0’.”
About Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd.
Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and BAIC Motor, was established in 2005. In terms of land size, BBAC is the largest Mercedes-Benz passenger car production hub worldwide for Daimler, producing the C-Class, E-Class, GLA and GLC, as well as Mercedes-Benz 4- and 6-cylinder engines. In 2016, BBAC achieved considerable success, with locally produced models accounting for over two-thirds of Mercedes-Benz’s total sales in China. In November 2016, BBAC’s total local production output passed the 1,000,000-unit mark, and was furthermore recognized by the “Factory of the Year” jury in the “ Excellent Large Series Assembly” category. As the primary local production base for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in China, BBAC plays a key role in Daimler’s overall global development strategy and production network.
About Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd.
Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV) was established in 2009 by the BAIC Group and other shareholders as a development platform for New Energy Vehicles. As one of China’s leading pure electric vehicle manufacturers, BJEV’s primary business scope covers research and development, production, and sales and services for New Energy Vehicles and core NEV components. To date, the company’s product portfolio covers five major series of electric vehicles, the EC, EH, EU, EV and EX series, which are comprised of over ten electric vehicle passenger car models.