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China's BIAC Group to Launch a New ‘Intelligent Car' Brand

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【Summary】Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC Group) plans to develop a vehicle models for a new “intelligent car” brand called BEIJING, Reuters reports. BIAC plans to collaborate with German automaker Mercedes Benz, its partner in the venture.

Eric Walz    Oct 23, 2019 10:00 AM PT
China's BIAC Group to Launch a New ‘Intelligent Car' Brand

Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC Group) plans to develop a vehicle models for a new "intelligent car" brand called BEIJING, Reuters reports. BIAC plans to collaborate with German automaker Mercedes Benz, its partner in the venture, on connected vehicle technologies, company chairman Xu Heyi said.

BAIC officially launched its new BEIJING brand on Oct 15 in China, the world's biggest auto market, in an effort to gain market share. The BEIJING brand will focus on intelligent connected vehicle technologies, Xu told an industry conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

BAIC owns the electric vehicle brand BJEV, which became the first state-owned manufacturer of new-energy vehicles to list on the mainland stock exchange in 2018. 

Driven by electrification and intelligent connectivity strategies, "BEIJING" will serve as the group's core platform that covers multiple types of traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles and new energy vehicles, which include plug in hybrids and fully-electric models.


At the launching ceremony, the automaker also showed off the first BEIJING model called the EU7, as well as the first concept model "Illuminate" to demonstrate BJEV's technical strength.

The Illuminate SUV represents the future design philosophy of the BEIJING brand with a futuristic interior with a center-mounted touch screen display reminiscent of Tesla's Model S.

With subsidies, The Beijing EU7 starts at 160,000 yuan ($22,500).

eu72.jpg

The BEIJING EU7 on display in China.

According to Reuters, BAIC said on social media that it will invest 20 billion yuan ($2.83 billion) to develop new product platforms for its BEIJING brand.

BAIC aims to cooperate with its joint venture partner Stuttgart-based Daimler AG on intelligent connected vehicle technologies in the future, Xu told Reuters at the conference, without providing further details.

BAIC operates Mercedes-Benz factories in China through joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive. BAIC purchased 5% stake in Daimler in July, but has no plans to increase its stake in the German automaker.

"We have finished our stake investment in Daimler," said Xu. "We do not have plans to increase our stake."

BAIC bought the stake in Daimler after Li Shufu, chairman of rival automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) built a 9.69 percent stake in Daimler in early 2018. Geely is the owner of automaker Volvo, which it purchased from the Ford Motor Co in 2010.

BIAC and Daimler also build trucks in a separate joint venture Foton Daimler Automotive. Daimler plans to adjust its production line at Foton Daimler to build Mercedes-Benz branded trucks with BAIC, Reuters reported in August. 

resource from: Reuters

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