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Daimler and BAIC to make EVs in China

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【Summary】German automaker Daimler announced on Thursday that it has reached a joint agreement with its Chinese partner BAIC, to upgrade a Mercedes Benz factory in Beijing and begin manufacturing electric vehicles in China.

Original Claire    Jun 01, 2017 11:36 AM PT
Daimler and BAIC to make EVs in China

German automaker Daimler announced on Thursday that it has reached a joint agreement with its Chinese partner BAIC, to upgrade a Mercedes Benz factory in Beijing and begin manufacturing electric vehicles in China.

The signing ceremony held in Berlin, Germany was attended by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Daimler group has signed a framework agreement to upgrade production facilities at Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (BBAC), to produce new energy vehicles, which include pure EVs and hybrids.

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"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." Hubertus Troska, Daimler's board member in charge of China, said in a statement.

"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," he added.

Daimler also agreed to buy a minority stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co.,Ltd (BJEV), which is a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, but did not release the details. The two parties will work together on developing new-energy vehicles.

Founded in 2009, BJEV has five major series of electric vehicles on the market.. The company focuses on research and development, sales and services for new energy cars and related automotive components, and claims to have the largest share of the EV market in China.

In the past, the subsidiary of BAIC has partnered with Siemens, SK Holdings, and Lucid Motors on EV technology development. In 2015, the company invested $100 million in Atieva ( then Lucid Motors), and became the largest investor in the U.S. company, with a 25% stake. Media also speculates that Daimler's new deal with BAIC is to linked to China's Zero-Emissions Vehicle mandate, which requires automakers to produce EVs that can represent 8% of all new car sales by 2018 and 12% by 2020.

The German government's agenda at the German-China summit in Berlin today, also showed that Volkswagen will sign a contract with Anhui Jianghuai Automotive Co for production and R&D of EVs in China.

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