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After Missteps, Daimler Hopes to Rebound in China

The faster it runs, the behinder it gets.

by on Apr.25, 2014

Officials from Daimler and BYD reveal the new Denza battery-car they jointly developed.

No issue has bedeviled Daimler AG more than China, where the company’s underwhelming performance lags archrivals BMW and Audi, which have used their successes with Chinese consumers to vault ahead of Mercedes-Benz in global sales.

Mercedes is hoping that this year’s Beijing Auto Show will serve as a tipping point, however, as it sets out to recapture some of the lost ground. Indeed, the China Daily suggested that Mercedes-Benz outspent its rivals at the crowded show this year in an effort to capture the attention of both the press and Chinese consumers.

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Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler’s board of management, made the long journey to China after skipping the New York Auto Show, and Daimler hosted separate press conferences for its Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter brands, as well as a joint preview of a new electric vehicle it will build with Denza, one of its Chinese partners.


Daimler, BYD Launching New Battery Car

by on Feb.27, 2014

The new Daimler-BYD joint venture will launch its first battery-car concept, the Denza NEV, in Beijing.

Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG plans to launch an all-new battery-electric vehicle it has developed as part of a joint venture with China’s BYD. To be sold through the new Denza brand, it will make its debut in concept form at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

The show car will be called the NEV, short for New Energy Vehicle.  The hatchback will use a pure battery-electric design with its batteries mounted under the floor and its electric motor driving the front wheels.

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The German maker provided the basic vehicle architecture for the Denza NEV concept, along with key componentry, including the safety system.  BYD, already one of the key players in the emerging Chinese battery-car market, supplied the underlying drive system.


Daimler, BYD Launch New Denza Battery Car Brand

First new product will debut at Beijing Motor Show.

by on Apr.02, 2012

Daimler and BYD launch the new Denza battery-car brand, debuting at the Beijing Motor Show.

Hoping to take advantage of China’s potentially huge battery-car market, Daimler will launch the new Denza brand with its Chinese partner, BYD.

A concept car hinting at what’s to come from the 50/50 joint venture will make its appearance, later this month at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.  Production is set to begin in 2013, the partners revealed, adding that the new Denza brand’s slogan will be “EV the Future.”

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“We have the ideal partner in Daimler. BYD provides experience in battery technology and e-drive systems, as well as bringing EVs into operation on the streets of China,” said BYD’s president, Wang Chuanfu. “In connection with Daimler’s design of premium autos, know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and more than 125 years of experience in automotive excellence, DENZA is on the right track to become the leader in the New Energy Vehicle market in China.”


GM Calls Off Partnership with India’s REVA

Strange bedfellows in the EV market.

by on Jun.01, 2010

India's REVA is developing a variety of battery-based vehicles.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s takeover of the REVA Electric Vehicle Company of Bangalore, India has prompted General Motors Corp. to withdraw from a GM India joint development project.

“GM India and Reva Electric Car Company have decided to discontinue the joint development of electric vehicle technologies for the India market.  We expect to apply the learnings from this collaboration to future product development activities to meet the varied needs of customers around the world,” GM said in a statement.

The GM-REVA partnership was set up last year and aimed at developing a low-cost electric vehicle for the emerging Indian market.  That plan was scuttled when Mahindra announced it would acquire the small battery car company, last week.  (Click Here for more on the Mahindra-REVA deal.)

However, Mahindra’s acquisition of REVA and GM’s reaction underscore the importance carmakers around the world are putting on EV technology.

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Mahindra REVA expects to use Mahindra’s vehicle development expertise, opening the door for REVA technology to be used in Mahnindra-designed vehicles, said the larger Indian maker, which has itsel delayed a long-anticipated entry into the U.S. market as it finalizes work on a pair of light truck offerings.


Chinese BYD and Daimler to Develop Electric Car

Shenzhen BYD Daimler will make a new brand EV for China.

by on May.27, 2010

The cost and range of batteries for EVs remains a significant impediment.

BYD Company Limited and Daimler AG today signed a contract creating a 50:50 joint venture called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd. The new firm will develop an electric vehicle for China under a new brand name.

Daimler and BYD will invest RMB 600 million capital for the firm. Chinese industrial policy requires joint ventures to gain access to its protected market.

The Communist central government also has repeatedly stated its desire to rationalize the Chinese automobile industry around Chinese companies.

In a joint statement, both parent companies said that a new generation of electric vehicles developed will capitalize on Daimler’s expertise in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and BYD’s knowledge in battery technology and e-drive systems. No further technical details are available.

The new car will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD, which is China’s fourth largest automaker. Export plans are unknown. However, all nations with industrial policies are attempting to establish local makers and protect home markets for green vehicles, a development that is creating concern among global  market advocates.


Ambitious BYD inks Battery Car Deal With Daimler

Could appear on the streets by 2013.

by on Mar.02, 2010

BYD is ready to launch the new e6 battery car, and will form a new joint venture with Daimler.

The upstart Chinese car manufacturer BYD is nothing if no ambitious, and it’s willing to take some significant steps to ensure that it can become one of the world’s leading auto companies, including signing up partners such as Volkswagen and, now, Daimler AG.

Short for Build Your Dreams, it remains to be seen if BYD is only dreaming as it lays out a goal to be the number one maker in Asia, by 2013, and world’s biggest by 2020. But, apparently, Daimler AG thinks it may be onto something.

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On the eve of the annual Geneva Motor Show, the Chinese maker signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with Daimler to form a technology partnership with two key goals. The first is to develop a new electric vehicle for the booming Chinese market, and the second is to establish a new brand that the two makers will jointly operate. BYD will also establish a technology center in China for developing, designing and testing the new battery car.

“With this announcement, we have created a win-win business model with complimentary competences,” declared BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu – showing that business clichés know no language barrier.