Mercedes and Geely officially announce joint ownership of Smart brand
The £590 million equal-stake joint venture will see the pair launch a range of next-generation Smart electric vehicles from 2022
Geely has taken a 50 per cent stake in the Smart city car brand from parent company Daimler, it has been confirmed. The pair plan to build a new generation of all-electric Smart models by 2022, with production taking place at Geely’s purpose-built factory in China.
The next generation of Smart cars will be styled by Mercedes’s own design house, while the board will consist of six members with equal representation from both parties. The company’s global headquarters has been set in Ningbo, China with sales functions divided between China and Germany.
As part of its expansion strategy, Mercedes and Geely also plan to extend Smart’s product portfolio into the rapidly-expanding B-segment, providing a premium all-electric rival for the Peugeot e-208, Renault ZOE and Volkswagen ID.3.
Until 2022, Daimler will continue to build the current Smart EQ ForTwo and EQ ForFour at its facilities in Hambach, France and Novo Mesto, Slovenia respectively. From 2022 Daimler’s Hambach plant will begin construction of a new EQ-branded compact electric car, following a €500 million investment by Mercedes-Benz.
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said: “Having received all necessary regulatory approvals we are now ready to start the joint venture with our partner Geely that has been in preparation for the past several months.
“The joint venture will bring the next generation of zero-emission smart electric cars to the Chinese and global markets. We look forward to continue our collaboration to bring desirable products and services to customers around the world.”
Geely’s new partnership with Daimler Auto Group follows its recent £6.4 billion investment in the German company. Over the last decade, Geely has taken total financial control of Volvo, Polestar, the London Taxi Company, Lynk & Co and Yuan Cheng Auto, as well as partially financial control of Proton and Lotus.
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