Daimler and Chinese firm Geely team up to manufacture Smart compact city cars
Daimler is to produce its next wave of Smart model electric cars in China via a joint venture with Chinese car manufacturing giant Geely.
Geely took a stake of nearly 10 per cent in the German car maker last year, saying it wanted to create an alliance to make electric and autonomous vehicles (EVs and AVs) in a bit to compete with new challengers such as Uber and Google.
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Daimler said today it will build the next generation of Smart city cars at a factory in China, sharing expertise in manufacturing and engineering with Geely.
The cost of making or buying electric car batteries has made it difficult for car makers to make affordable zero-emissions cars. As a results, many have struck up partnerships with Chinese firms.
BMW recently said it would make its Mini in China, where production costs are low and demand is rising for EVs.
Financial details were not disclosed, but the details of the joint venture will be cemented by the end of this year, they said in a joint announcement.
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Daimler currently builds Smart cars with Renault, with production taking place in France and Slovenia.
Its French factory will now be re-tasked with building Mercedes-Benz vehicles instead.