Daimler announces plans to manufacture small electric cars in China
Updated December 4, 2018
Earlier in the previous week, Daimler AG announced that it has begun preparations to manufacture battery-powered Smart cars in China along with a local partner.
Sources close to the matter say that the German luxury-car maker has announced this move in a bid to boost sales of the tiny-car brand in cities all over the world where emissions and parking are becoming quite an uphill task.
Sources who requested to be anonymous due to private deliberations in this matter also said that The German luxury-car maker has held discussions with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., a unit of its Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Group Co., to form a joint venture and launch an electric version of the iconic two-seater.
Since 2005, Daimler has been manufacturing Mercedes-Benz cars for the mainland with the state-owned group.
Ever since it launched in 1998, Smart has been racking up losses, however, the company hopes that in today’s world’s largest EV market which is dominated by young and urban consumers would help rejuvenate the brand and turn to it for parking convenience.
Additionally back in May Stuttgart-based Daimler announced changes to the top management at the division focussing on a strategy shift toward electrification.
No comments were given by the locally known BJEV, A spokeswoman for Daimler in China and a representative for Beijing Electric Vehicle.
Back in March, Daimler brought a stake close to 4 percent in BJEV, a cooperation which the German carmaker believes will allow it to “understand the needs of Chinese consumers even more accurately.”
Notably one of Daimler’s biggest Rival BMW AG is all set to become the first foreign car company to take majority control of its Chinese venture.
As per the data published by Daimler, it shows that deliveries of the brand slumped nearly 7 percent last year to 135,025 vehicles. However, the Stuttgart based car manufacturer which imports Smart cars into China hasn’t disclosed sales of the brand in the mainland. The major part what Smart handles for Daimler is that to help offset the emissions of high-margin gas guzzlers like the AMG GT sports car and the Mercedes S-Class sedan. Daimler has already begun working on a plan to abandon combustion engines for electric models by 2020.
China is determined to lead the trend in electrification also in its fight to cap carbon emissions and improve urban air quality, it has emerged as the world’s No. 1 market. By the year 2025, the country has set its sights to increase sales of new-energy vehicles 10-fold to 7 million units annually, which includes pure-electric, fuel-cell vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Categories: Automotive News