Mercedes-Benz E-Class PHEV
Daimler announced a strengthening of strategic collaboration with BAIC in New Energy Vehicles (all-electric and plug-in hybrid) in China.
Both partners already have an established previous joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) since 2005.
According to Reuters, Daimler and BAIC have agreed to jointly invest 5 billion yuan ($735 million) in New Energy Vehicles production in China by 2020.
A significant part of those investments ("three-digit million euro") will go on a new battery factory in China, under Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) joint venture.
The new framework agreement includes an upgrade of BBAC operations to handle plug-in vehicle production.
"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."
"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."
The second part of the new plan is Daimler's investment into BAIC subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV), which was established in 2009. BJEV covers research, development, production, sales and services for electric vehicles, as well as core EV components.
Daimler will become minority shareholder of BJEV.
"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."
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China said:
“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. 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.”