Daimler and Geely Holding form global joint venture to develop smart

  • 50:50 joint venture between Daimler and Geely based in China to develop and operate smart brand globally as all electric carmaker
  • smart to gain shared expertise in manufacturing, engineering and design from both groups
  • smart to expand to meet demand for electrification, with production based in China
  • New smart models planned from 2022 in all-electric product renewal

28 March 2019, Stuttgart, Germany; Hangzhou, China. Daimler AG (Daimler) and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), the German and Chinese automotive groups, today announced the formation of a 50-50 globally focused joint venture to own, operate and further develop smart, the pioneer of small urban vehicles, as a leader in premium-electrified vehicles.

Under the joint venture agreement, a new generation of smart electric models will be assembled at a new purpose-built electric car factory in China with global sales due to begin in 2022.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “For more than 2.2 million customers, smart represents a pioneer in urban mobility. Based on this success story, we look forward to further enhancing the brand with Geely Holding, a strong partner in the electric vehicle segment. We will jointly design and develop the next generation of smart electric cars that combine high-quality production and known safety standards for sale both in China and globally. In the future, we are looking forward to working with all partners to sustain our success in China and worldwide. Separately, Mercedes-Benz will produce a compact electric vehicle at the Hambach plant, sustaining employment with further investment in the facility.”

Li Shufu, Geely Holding Chairman, added: “We fully respect the value of smart. This brand has a unique appeal and strong commercial value. Geely Holding and Daimler look forward to this challenging and exciting new project, through which we will further push the introduction of premium electric products to give a better mobility experience to our customers. As equal partners, we are dedicated to promoting the smart brand globally; we will leverage our experience and global competencies in brand management, R&D, manufacturing, supply chain management and other areas. The synergies from this cooperation will lead to mutual benefits, at the same time we will further develop technologies for smart including connectivity, to continue to lead in the industry as it undergoes a wider transformation.”

The board of directors of the new smart joint venture will be made up of six executives with equal representation from both parties. Daimler AG board representatives will include Hubertus Troska, Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for Greater China, Britta Seeger, Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for Marketing and Sales of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain and designated Board of Management Member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Geely board representatives will include Geely Holding Chairman Li Shufu, Geely Holding President, Geely Auto Group President and CEO An Conghui, Geely Holding Executive Vice President and CFO Daniel Donghui Li.

The joint venture partners have agreed that the new generation of smart vehicles will be styled by the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Design network with engineering from Geely global engineering centers. Future production will be located in China. 

As part of the vehicle-development program, the smart product portfolio is also planned to be extended into the fast-growing B-segment.

Prior to the launch of new models from 2022 onwards, Daimler will continue to produce the current generation of smart vehicles in its Hambach plant France (smart EQ fortwo) and at Novo Mesto (Slovenia, smart EQ forfour).

In parallel, the Hambach plant will assume an additional new role in the Mercedes-Benz Cars production network and will produce a compact electric vehicle by Mercedes-Benz under the new product and technology brand EQ in the future. Mercedes-Benz is investing €500 million on the Hambach plant and will use the expertise of its experienced and motivated smart workforce.

The joint venture is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019. Financial terms of the smart joint venture have not been disclosed.

This joint venture follows the separate agreement between Daimler Mobility Services and Geely Technology Group announced last year, in which the companies agreed to cooperate on a new premium ride-hailing service in China.

Media Contacts

Daimler Media Contacts:

Willem Spelten

Head of smart communications

willem.spelten@daimler.com

+49 151 58624395

Ariane Fiedler

smart communications                                           

ariane.fiedler@daimler.com

+49 176 30910842

Geely Media Contacts:

Ash Sutcliffe
(China/International)

Frank Klaas
(Germany / Europe)

 

ash@geely.com

+86 186 6814 5008

Frank.Klaas@levc.com

+44 7970 232325

Daimler at a Glance
Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s largest producer of trucks above 6 tons. Daimler Financial Services provides financing, leasing, fleet management, investment products and brokerage of credit cards and insurance, as well as innovative mobility services. The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As a pioneer of automotive engineering, it is a motivation and commitment of Daimler to shape safely and sustainably the future of mobility. The Group’s focus is on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and superior automobiles that appeal and fascinate. Daimler consequently invests in the development of efficient drive trains with the long-term goal of locally emission-free driving: from hightech combustion engines about hybrid vehicles to electric drive trains powered by battery or fuel cell. Furthermore, the company follows a consistent path towards intelligent connectivity of its vehicles, autonomous driving and new mobility concepts. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world’s most valuable premium automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz (Source: Interbrand-Study, 10/4/2018), as well as Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes me, the brands smart, EQ, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, FUSO, Setra and Thomas Built Buses, and Daimler Financial Services’ brands: Mercedes-Benz Bank, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Daimler Truck Financial, moovel, car2go and mytaxi. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2018, the Group sold 3.4 million vehicles and employed a workforce of around 298,700 people. Group revenue amounted to €167.4 billion. Group EBIT amounted to €11.1 billion.

About Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding) is a global automotive group that owns several well-known international automotive brands, with operations spanning the automotive value chain, from research, development and design to production, sales and servicing.

Founded in 1986 by Li Shufu, the company’s Chairman, in the city of Taizhou in China’s Zhejiang province, Geely Holding launched its automotive business in 1997 and is now headquartered in Hangzhou, China. The Group comprises three businesses: Geely Auto Group, Volvo Car Group and Geely Commercial Vehicles Company. Its brands include Geely Auto, LYNK & CO, Volvo Car, Polestar, London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), Yuan Cheng Auto, PROTON, Lotus, and Terrafugia.

ZGH sold over 2.15 million vehicles in 2018, with Volvo Car sales reaching historic highs of 642,253 cars globally and Geely Auto Group sales growing over 20% to reach 1,500,838 units in total.

ZGH has over 120,000 employees across the world, and has been listed in the Fortune 500 for the past seven years. For more information regarding Zhejiang Geely Holdings please refer to the official website at www.zgh.com