Daimler AG to build electric vehicles in China

June 4, 2010
Daimler AG and BYD Company Ltd. have announced creating a 50/50 research and technology joint venture called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd. that will develop an electric vehicle for China. The vehicle will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD

Daimler AG and BYD Company Ltd. have announced creating a 50/50 research and technology joint venture called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd. that will develop an electric vehicle for China. The vehicle will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.

According to Daimler, the new generation of electric vehicles developed by the joint venture will capitalize on Daimler’s know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety as well as BYD’s excellence in battery technology and e-drive systems.

“Our new joint venture is well positioned to make the most of the vast potential of electric mobility in China,” Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG said. “We are fortunate to have excellent joint venture partners in China and the establishment of this research and technology center with BYD adds another dimension to our growing presence in this important market.”

“Together with Daimler we are making excellent progress identifying opportunities to utilize the strengths of both companies to create a new brand of electric cars for China,” said Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD. “This is a unique and exciting initiative, and together we are pushing hard to bring this new electric vehicle to market as soon as possible.”

Wang and Zetsche signed the joint venture contract last week in Beijing. That followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on March 1. Engineers, designers and other executives from both companies have already established teams to begin working on the vehicle concept. The business license for the new joint venture is subject to relevant government approval.

BYD is China’s leading manufacturer of advanced battery technology, a field it has invested in since 1995. It is also regarded as the fastest-growing Chinese automotive manufacturer.

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