Mar. 3 – Daimler of Germany and BYD, the Shenzhen-based, Hong Kong-listed small auto manufacturer, have signed an agreement to develop and sell electric cars on the Chinese mainland.
The deal could be worth up to US$150 million in a joint venture to develop fully electric vehicles.
“This is cooperation between the most senior car maker and the youngest, between the country with the best car industry and the country with the biggest car market,” BYD’s General Manager Henri Li stated at a press conference.
The move comes as Beijing is expected to announce consumer subsidies for hybrid and alternative green energy vehicles. BYD are expected to launch their e6 vehicle once the subsidies are put into effect. To date, the vehicle prototype has only been seen sporadically at auto shows.
Other Chinese auto manufacturers such as Chery, SAIC and Changan are also planning to produce electric cars.
Warren Buffet, the U.S. investor, has already taken a 9.9% stake in BYD.