On October 10, 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the signing ceremony of a new agreement between Daimler AG and its Chinese partner, BAIC Group. The agreement is with respect to the joint investment in a new generation of compact luxury cars. By 2015, Daimler and BAIC Group’s total investment in Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) will reach about 4 billion euros. The new agreement marks an important deepening of the cooperation and trust between the two automotive companies as well as China and Germany more generally.
At the ceremony, BAIC Group’s chairman Xu Heyi stated: “The agreement shows that BBAC has reached new heights in terms of R&D, manufacturing and management capabilities. It also further strengthens our Sino-German partnership. BBAC represents the strong partnership between China and Germany, and enterprises in our two countries, and has importantly increased confidence in ‘Made in China’ automotive products. By deepening our cooperation, we will further enhance BBAC’s competitiveness and continue to set new benchmarks in China’s automotive industry.”
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and global head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said,“Today’s signing shows again that we are both committed to our long-term partnership with BAIC and confident in our future in the key market of China. This strategic investment in the localization of compact cars will give us better access to the huge growth potential that this segment offers in the mid-term, and so pave the way for Mercedes-Benz’s sustainable growth. With the all-new GLA-Class, we will lay the foundation starting early next year.
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Daimler AG, stated, “Our alliance with BAIC is clear proof of this and has, as a successful Sino-German industrial partnership, grown from strength-to-strength for more than a decade. With the agreement we have signed today, we are forging ahead for sustainable and profitable growth in and with China.”
For more than ten years, BAIC Group and Daimler have engaged in a fruitful cooperation, strengthening the confidence of shareholders and underlining the determination to further development in China. Daimler has continued to increase its investments in China. Under the leadership of BAIC Group, BBAC has become a model of successful economic cooperation between China and Germany.
BAIC Group is one of China’s five major automotive groups. It is primarily engaged in vehicle manufacturing, parts, service trade, development and reform and adjustment. BAIC Group, with its 11 subsidiaries, including BAIC Motor, Beijing Benz, Beijing Hyundai, Beiqi Foton, BAW and Changhe Auto, is one of China’s most complete and advanced automotive groups. In 2013, BAIC achieved a sales volume of 2,164,000 vehicles and reached an operating income of 266.3 billion yuan. In 2014, BAIC Group ranked 248 in the Fortune 500 list.
Daimler AG (Daimler AG), headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and the world’s second-largest luxury car maker as well as the second-largest truck maker. The company’s business units include Mercedes – Benz cars, Mercedes – Benz Vans, Daimler Trucks and Daimler Financial Services.
Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) is a joint venture founded by BAIC Group, Daimler AG and Daimler Greater China Ltd. Its business scope ranges from R&D, engine and completed vehicle production to sales and after sales services. The joint venture was formally established in August 2005.