With Geely, Daimler sends Smart electric-car brand to China

Daniel Fowler
January 12, 2020

The 50:50 venture has received regulatory approval and will be based in the Chinese coastal city of Ningbo, the Chinese and German automakers said in a statement. Audi said it sold 19,500 electric e-tron models in Europe past year while Daimler declined to provide a figure for how many electric Mercedes-Benz EQC models it delivered to customers. Like Mercedes-Benz, smart is a Daimler AG marque. That means the production of future smart cars will be moved to China. That target remains unchanged, as does the vehicle development plan which includes the expansion of the Smart brand into the fast-growing B-segment.

In the first days of 2020, Daimler and Geely announced they have officially established the joined venture that will oversee the rebirth of smart.

The board of directors of the new Smart JV will be made up of six executives, with equal representation from both parties. Sales operations will jointly commence in China and Germany.

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Speaking on the company's sales performance, Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, "2020 is going to be another important year for Mercedes-Benz India and we continue to be optimistic with the country's mid to long-term prospect". The joint venture will bring the next generation of zero-emission Smart electric cars to the Chinese and global markets. It's unlikely to be an affordable offering, though, with the Smart brand expected to focus on premium electric vehicles.

Li Shufu, Geely Holding chairman said: "The Smart brand has a unique value and global influence; it has grown to be a leader in urban mobility".

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