By on March 1, 2010

Dow Jones [via Easybourse.com] has a hot release that is sure to be burning up the wires: Daimler and Chinese EV firm BYD have signed a deal to develop an electric vehicle “specific to the requirements of  the Chinese market.” The new EV will be sold under a new, jointly-run brand and will be developed at a new Chinese technology center to be built as part of the joint venture. According to the release, “the companies’ understanding also includes further discussions on additional business opportunities of mutual interests,” all of which raises some interesting questions. Like why Volkswagen was caught napping: the Wolfsburg boys reportedly signed a MOU with BYD last March, but somehow Daimler has beaten them to the punch… on the very same day that VW announced that it wants to be the electric-mobility market leader by 2018, no less. Another open question: why develop a EV for the Chinese market, when that market’s tolerance for EV premiums appears to be fairly low? After all, with Daimler providing the car expertise, BYD might have a chance at the US and European markets where EV demand is actually proven. Also, how screwed is Tesla at this point? Though these questions remain very much unanswered, BYD is certainly making progress towards becoming a major car biz player, despite the many criticisms that have been leveled against it.

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5 Comments on “Daimler And BYD Team Up For Chinese Market EV...”


  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    Will they have cool “ASK DR. Z.” commercials in Mandarin or Cantonese?

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    “Another open question: why develop a EV for the Chinese market, when that market’s tolerance for EV premiums appears to be fairly low? After all, with Daimler providing the car expertise, BYD might have a chance at the US and European markets where EV demand is actually proven. Also, how screwed is Tesla at this point?”

    Why do Western drug companies love to test in third-world countries? If/when something goes wrong you have a group of people who really can’t sue, and you will have little (if any) bad publicity reach the Western world. Hell, you can just pay the government to kill them all.

    Launch it in China, sort it out, then bring it to the West. I guess the only hole in that theory is that Daimler shouldn’t have too much to sort.

    BYD is an interesting model. Huge producer of high-tech batteries – by hand. Then there’s the Berkshire Hathaway connection- Buffet’s there for a reason.

    It would be interesting to learn what The Oracle did to make this happen – and what his endgame is now.

    • 0 avatar
      h82w8

      Buffett’s $230M+ investment in BYD gives them major clout. Berkshire’s international energy and utility investments through its MidAmerican Energy holdings makes it a globally significant strategic investment.

      As an aside — the gentleman in the photo above wearing the red tie is David Sokol, the hard-driving CEO of MidAmerican Energy (and NetJets), who presumably brokered the BRK-BYD deal, and considered by many observers as Buffett’s heir-apparent at Berkshire.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Karl Benz must be turning in his grave to see that his company is just calling itself “Daimler” these days.
    In England a Daimler is a Jag with a different badge , and extra goodies.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Uncle Mellow,

    Daimler in the UK has a long history.

    Originally, Gottlieb Daimler would license his name to be used in different markets. The U.K.’s Daimler is the result of one such deal.

    Very short version, they were owned by BSA around 1910, Jaguar aquired the rights in the early 60s.


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