By on July 23, 2019

Beijing Automotive Group Co Ltd (BAIC) announced on Tuesday that it had purchased a 5 percent stake in Daimler AG. Despite the pair have been partners in Asia since 2003, via the Beijing Benz Automotive joint venture, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group purchased nearly 10 percent of the German company in 2018 and was reportedly seeking high levels of cooperation.

As one of Geely’s direct rivals, BAIC claimed its investment would help solidify the relationship with Daimler. “This step reinforces our alignment with, and strong support for, Daimler’s management and strategy,” BAIC chairman Heyi Xu said in an official statement.

Daimler confirmed the investment with the head of Mercedes-Benz, Ola Källenius, making his own announcement later in the day. “We are very pleased that our long-standing partner BAIC is now a long-term investor in Daimler,” he said. “This step reinforces our successful partnership and is a signal of trust in the strategy and future potential of our company. The Chinese market is and remains a crucial pillar of our success — not only for sales, but also for our product development and production.”

While Daimler has not walked back plans with Geely to establish a ride-hailing venture or the plan to jointly assembly Smart EVs in China by 2022, its standing arrangements with BAIC also remain intact. The pair already collaboratively manufacturer and develop automobiles Asia — so it’s unclear how (or if) the new investment will change anything. Naysayers remain concerned over the possibility of losing intellectual property to Asian companies. Advocates are just happy to see new investments and a spike in Daimler’s share price.

[Image: Franz12/Shutterstock]

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25 Comments on “China’s BAIC Purchases Five Percent of Daimler...”

  • avatar
    R Henry

    The Chinese “partners” are ensuring ongoing access to Western technologies and developments. Such a pity that Western corporations are willing to share their intellectual property just to get access to that market. I believe Daimler, along with VW, GM, and all the others who have entered into manufacturing “partnerships” there will come to regret their strategies.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a shame that US policy out of Washington D.C. for three-decades if not longer has gutted our public education system, made college unaffordable for millions, created a system of for-profit institutions that prey on veterans and the poor, and produce people with degrees, utterly, completely, and totally unprepared for the real world.

      It goes much further than liberal or conservative policies – when I was a kid we feared our parents and teachers if we got an F. Today parents go in and berate the teachers and schools for giving a kid an F, even if deserved.

      “No Child Left Behind” created a proliferation of IEP students to get low performers out of the data to meet mandated requirements. The IEP students are pushed through with JUST enough education to pretend they have a high school diploma.

      The gutting of the arts lessens the ability to free think and question, the gutting of physical education has created a generation of lard asses so bad, that a significant minority of military inductees when they show up for BASIC are out of shape and so overweight they aren’t ready for military service.

      We’ve created a generation that can metaphorically fill in the dots with a number-two pencil without question – great for a MAGA future – not great for exploration, discovery, and advancement.

      We had the best public education system in the world, and going as far back as Nixon we’ve steadily chipped away at it. The same people we’re making feel unwelcome now are going home, and for those who had the money and got preferential acceptance because foreign students pay more tuition, which means the college makes more revenue, are going home. They’re going home and taking with them the education they got at our elite schools.

      I remind you that Americans were upset that Albert Einstein was admitted to the United States, basically seeking asylum, and he almost didn’t get accepted. Had things been different, Einstein would have gone to the UK, the British would have likely had the brain trust to develop the atomic bomb, leveraging US radioactive ore, and the world would be a VERY different place today.

      I wonder how many Einsteins we’ve pushing out today while our educational system falls further and further behind. John in Alabama didn’t get the NASA job because Kipchoge was a “compliance hire,” John never bothered to go to college or went to ITT Technical Institute right before it shut down and is utterly unqualified for that space program engineering job.

      Long screed freely admit – but these partners are going beyond the necessary evil of business in China – what hybrid, electrification, or fuel cell technology of any merit can FCA point to? What R&D budget does FCA have to develop next-generation technology?

      Ford is on the brink of an all-electric F-150, GM will have an all-electric 400-mile range Escalade in 18 to 24 months, never mind Audi and etron in Europe (Fiat/Alfa, Europe is important to FCA). Hell man, FCA doesn’t even the money to update the LX car platform, give Chrysler a line up of more than 2 vehicles, or provide meaningful support to Dodge – never mind how bad of shape Fiat is in. Sergio’s big bet on Alfa isn’t going to pay the bills.

      Hell, we can’t even put a human being into orbit 50 years after putting a man on the moon. Pathetic.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Anyway….back to the studio…..

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Excellent post.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not sure what business decisions made by German and Italian automotive companies has to do with American public education, space program, and political policies, but go off if needed.

      • 0 avatar

        Sent my Dell laptop back to their “Advanced Repair Center” after it took a tumble out of my hands and down my stairs the other day. Have their “ProSupport” warranty, which doesn’t cover damage, but includes US-based support.

        The support may be based in Houston, but judging from the thick accent of the tech who will be handling the repair (from the Indian subcontinent, probably H1-B, what else is new?) who left a message today, Dell doesn’t extend hiring practices in the same way! It is beyond frustrating to have to have a Sanskrit interpreter with you every time you pick up the phone nowadays when you’re trying to reach what used to be called “customer service,” much less to get so frustrated as to demand to speak with someone on this side of the Atlantic who can converse in remotely passable English before just hanging up, then spiking the phone in utter disgust!

        And the worst thing is that we’ve done this to ourselves!

        • 0 avatar

          If you’d bought ProSupport Plus, you’d have gotten accidental damage protection. But then I wouldn’t buy Dell anymore – their quality has declined significantly in the last 2-3 years, meaning the enterprise-class hardware (Latitude, Precision, OptiPlex). The desktops are still okay but the laptops are garbage.

      • 0 avatar

        British never had resources to develop A bomb. If they had they would be ahead of US since they started investigating this issue ahead of US and German scientists did immigrate to UK. US agreed to admit UK team to learn what they did but kept UK out of project and did not share results. US policy was to weaken and destroy British Empire which was falling apart already anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        “Hell, we can’t even put a human being into orbit 50 years after putting a man on the moon. Pathetic.”

        American people are not ready to commit substantial resources for that. And NASA is not good at human exploration either. So what we witnessing now is transition period of human space program from NASA to private companies. NASA is simply is not capable of doing anything effectively. What was done in 60s cost nation $200 billion. It is too costly even back then.

        • 0 avatar

          What you mean is that we scrubbed spending money on on LEARNING and decided to spend it on the *wink wink* “War On Poverty” TM and the Affirmative Action TM crowd. Proof of this was when our first Affirmative Action TM President cancelled the space program entirely, leaving our ISS astronauts at the mercy of the Russians.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      R Henry

      Could be bad, In about 10 years at a Chinese military parade. They will be showing off Designer tanks. With hand stitched leather interiors. Real wood control panels, and highend switch gear.

    • 0 avatar

      @R Henry

      Once the Chinese have stolen all the IP they need, and gotten the processes down, they’ll give the Western partners the boot.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Of course.

        At which time, Chinese built cars, using that WesternIP/technology, will dump cheap product in Western markets, which will lead to the collapse of the Western automobile industry.

        Once the Western manufacturers collapse, the Chinese product prices will climb, and auto buyers will be forced to pay the inflated prices. This is exactly what Chinese producers in other sectors have already done…the script has already been written.

      • 0 avatar

        No need for that. Western partners have negative population growth – they will go away naturally. Unfortunately the same is true for China. But thanks to enormous population they will disappear much later.

  • avatar

    Between the Geeley, errr Volvo recall and now this, someone needs to do a welfare check on deadweight.

  • avatar

    So Daimler is looking to improve their quality?

    • 0 avatar

      Um, no. The way German companies work, the Chinese are just buying stock, not control. Having Chinese minority ownership might just insulate Daimler from Chinese government action against Daimler interests in China. OTOH, China might be trying to buy allies in international trade issues.

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