German auto giant Daimler is investing in a second battery and car production plant in Beijing with its Chinese state-owned automobile partner BAIC.
Daimler told BBB the companies would jointly invest more than CNY11.9 billion ($1.9bn) in the new facility at their Beijing Benz Automotive (BBAC) joint venture making lithium-ion batteries and “high-quality premium vehicles” for Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand.
Daimler declined to give details about the size of the battery plant or its manufacturing capacity.
The announcement came after Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group confirmed it had bought a 9.69% stake in Daimler and become the largest shareholder in the company.
Rumours about the shares deal emerged last month, although Daimler initially declined to comment.
A Daimler spokesperson told BBB that Geely’s chairman Li Shufu, who also owns Volvo Cars and the UK-based London Electric Vehicle Company (formerly London Taxi) could help Daimler “constructively discuss change in the industry”.
BBB reported in 2017 that Daimler and BAIC were jointly investing a total CNY5bn in “premium e-batteries” and local production of EVs in Beijing, marking the first time Daimler batteries had been produced outside Germany.