Geely builds $9bn stake in Mercedes owner Daimler

Nichole Vega
February 25, 2018

Li, who chairs auto giant Geely Automobile Holdings, bought a 9.69% stake in the carmaker, worth around 7.2 billion euros (RM34.8 billion), according to the filing. Daimler has a partnership in China with a separate, state-controlled company, Beijing Auto.

Daimler declined to comment while Zhejiang Geely did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Geely Holding has increased its expansion drive.

Media reports said the purchase is part of the Chinese company's bid to form an industrial alliance with Daimler. This month he appeared by video at an automotive conference in Germany, but did not discuss the matter.

The purchase is not the company's first attempt to make a foray overseas.

It also owns British sports vehicle manufacturer Lotus and the firm which makes London's world-famous black cabs. With Li's backing, Volvo recently outlined plans to create a brand of upscale electric cars, called Polestar, that is meant to compete with Tesla.

Daimler sold almost 3.3 million units, and had 164 billion euros in revenue previous year.

In the Chinese market, Geely Auto has become a top-selling brand.

Mercedes-Benz sold more cars in China than any other market past year, some 600,000 cars and SUVs, he said.

Worldwide motor manufacturers are seeking to strike deals in China, the world's largest vehicle market, but centred on electric cars in order to get an increased foothold in a segment set to grow rapidly in the coming years. "They need China - however, they also fear it", he said in an email.

The source said Daimler and Geely had not held concrete talks about how to structure a potential joint venture, adding: "You know we have to become a stakeholder in order to engage". "With Mr Li and Geely, Daimler has open access to the largest market of the world", he said.

The investment could provide Geely opportunities to gain a broader advantage as it attempts to expand its global reach amid a shift to electrification and autonomous vehicles, however the companies have not yet mentioned any collaborative projects or intellectual property sharing.

Daimler now has a joint venture with BYD in China to build electric cars.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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