March 21, 2018

China Focus: Chinese automakers bullish in overseas foray

25 February 2018, 02:01 | Denise Dawson

The Mercedes star logo at the Mercedes Benz headquarters in Stuttgart Germany on Feb. 1 2018

The Mercedes star logo at the Mercedes Benz headquarters in Stuttgart Germany on Feb. 1 2018

"It will be an honour to support this unique team under the leadership of Dieter Zetsche in the future", said Li Shufu, chairman and owner of Zheijang Geely Holding Group.

The German automaker announced the news in a regulatory filing on Friday.

The automotive industry is facing great opportunities for innovation, and Geely should cooperate with its peers to develop advanced automobile technologies instead of fighting by itself, 55-year-old Li said in a statement released on Saturday.

The stake purchase follows an initial approach last November, when Li sought to buy a Daimler stake as a way to access Mercedes-Benz technology for electric cars and trucks, including battery technology, to help Geely comply with a Chinese crackdown on pollution.

The investment furthers Hangzhou-based Geely's foray into the European premium automotive market and ends months of speculation about a tie-up.

Daimler overtook homegrown rival BMW to become the world's largest luxury auto maker by unit sales in 2016, helped by a broad refresh of its model range and powerful sales growth in China.

Stop using Instant Pot Gem 65 due to melting — ALERT
Rather, the company has received reports from users of its Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker that their units have overheated. It appears from the posts on their Facebook page, that customers have been having issues with this model for weeks.

Geely also owns Britain's Lotus. "We have a very strong partner with our existing cooperation with BAIC Motor". HNA Group Co has a stake of about 8.8 per cent in Deutsche Bank AG, and industrial-robot maker Kuka was purchased by Midea, the world's largest appliance maker a few years ago.

The move marks a further push into Europe for the Chinese carmaker, a market Geely hopes to break into in its own right with its all-electric Lynk & Co brand next year.

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".

Geely also bought 49.9 percent of Malaysia's Proton and a 51 percent stake in Britain's Lotus previous year.

Daimler told Bloomberg that it welcomes another major investor and views the move as a vote of confidence. The deal means Geely is now the biggest shareholder in Daimler which owns Mercedes-Bens and makes trucks and vans. Li has displaced a Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund as the German automaker's top shareholder.

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