According to reports, parent company of Mercedes Benz, Daimler, along with its Chinese partner BAIC, are in discussions to build electric Smart cars in China.
It was back in March that Daimler had taken an almost 4% stake in BAIC subsidiary BJEV. The company had also signed a deal to build a $1.9 billion factory in China in February.
Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, had reported that Daimler is in talks to make electric versions of its small Smart cars in China.
The report said that the company is in discussions to start a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer BAIC Group subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle, or BJEV. Daimler’s Smart car subsidiary makes small vehicles called “microcars” and subcompact cars.
According to the Bloomberg report, the size of the stake Daimler has taken in the joint venture has not been specified. The nearly 4% stake the company made in BAIC subsidiary BJEV was according to Daimler, to “further deepen its understanding of Chinese consumers’ needs.”
The Bloomberg report stated that China is “the world’s No. 1 market for EVs and is determined to lead the trend in electrification. The country has set up a target to increase sales of new-energy vehicles 10-fold to 7 million units annually by 2025, including plug-in hybrids, pure-electric and fuel-cell vehicles.”
Mercedez Benz recently reported that it had already sold 1,356,350 vehicles in the first seven months of this year, which is an increase of 2.3% and a new record.
Last month was the second best July in the history of the brand. The company saw worldwide sales of 167,518 passenger cars.
The smart brand delivered 11,404 cars to its customers worldwide in July. In China, unit sales of the two-door and four-door urban microcar were higher than ever before in a July. Last month the smart brand achieved significant sales growth of 36.2% in the German market. In the first half of the year 2018, smart actually achieved with 17.5% the strongest growth for new passenger car registrations among all German car brands in Germany.
“Never before have so many customers taken delivery of their new Mercedes Benz in the first seven months of a year. Since the beginning of 2018, we have increased our unit sales by 2.3 percent to more than 1.35 million passenger cars sold,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes Benz Cars Marketing and Sales.
“Since the market launch of the C-Class Saloon and Estate, more than 9.5 million of these models have already been sold. Since July, our new models of the C-Class family have been in the showrooms of the European dealerships, with whom we intend to continue the success story of our bestselling series.”