China's BAIC Purchases Five Percent of Daimler
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.
Report: Second Chinese Automaker Amassing Big Daimler Stake
A year after Chinese automaker Geely announced the purchase of a nearly 10-percent stake in auto giant Daimler AG, a second carmaker from the People’s Republic is reportedly interested in acquiring a piece of the German company’s action. A stealthy accumulation of shares could already be underway.
The Truth About China's Electric Vehicle Market
The recent Guangzhou Auto Show in China was a reflection of everything stereotypical about the Chinese car market: Chinese OEM clones of European vehicles, North American and European legacy platforms resurrected into new China-only models, wacky supercars from unknown Chinese OEMs, stretched European executive sedans, and weird electric vehicles.
The only major North American press headline from the show was bold: “ Five New Electric Cars from China, World’s Largest EV Market.” I never saw China as a leader in electric vehicles. However, green car publications like CleanTechnica have stated China is the world’s largest EV market for almost two years now.
What’s the real story behind China’s EV market? There’s both truth and lies in these headlines.
BAIC, Siemens Team Up For Green Joint Venture In Beijing
Though Siemens won’t be putting their name upon the body of BAIC C70G for a DTM entry anytime soon, the Chinese automaker and German industrial giant will come together for an green vehicle-related joint venture in Beijing.
BAIC Seeks To Acquire US, European Brand
Looking to expand its global presence beyond its native China, Beijing Automotive Group announced they would like to acquire a “mid to high-level brand” in either Europe or the United States, and already has a list of potential brands in mind.
Chinese Car Dealers Report Inventories Remain High
According the the China Automobile Dealers Association, despite efforts by car makers to reduce inventories, Chinese domestic brand dealers still had 49 days worth of supply in June, a figure that would be considered decent in North America, where two months is the norm. But it’s a matter of concern in China, where normal dealer inventories are 24 to 36 days. That figure is an improvement over the 61 days of supply at the end of May.
EXCLUSIVE: Bernstein Research Literally Dissects Chinese Cars, Auto Industry In 200-Page Report
Max Warburton and his team. Warburton, of Bernstein Research, assembled a team to interview over 40 auto executives in China (both Chinese and foreign-born) and even bought two Chinese vehicles from Geely and Great Wall. Warburton had them shipped to Europe, where they were taken to a test track, driven extensively and then taken apart by engineers and automotive consultants. And it was far from pretty.
Mad In China: How To Get A New Mercedes B-Class For Only $8,680
BAIC and Daimler announced last Friday they are taking the Beijing-Benz joint venture a giant step further. Daimler takes a 12 percent stake in BAIC and both parties will work closely together to win market share from Audi and BMW. On the ‘grass roots level’ the close cooperation has long begun! Above, a Beijing Auto E-Series with a Mercedes-Benz grille. How did that happen?
Daimler And BAIC Are Doing It
It was one of the worst-kept secrets: Two weeks ago, Reuters reporters had picked up the scent of Daimler planning a big investment into China’s BAIC. This week, rumors started flying around in Beijing that it is true. Today, Daimler announces, as expected, that “Daimler AG is going to invest in BAIC Motor, the passenger car unit of BAIC Group, one of the leading automotive companies in China.”
Benz And BAIC Expected To Lift The Veil Tomorrow
Now about those Benz-BAIC rumors: While Beijing is going gaga, Reuters has been suspiciously quiet about an upcoming deal between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC. Reuters, which has good ears and feet on the ground in China, had reported two weeks ago that something might be happening. Today, Reuters breaks its silence and says:
BAIC & Benz: Bloggers Scoop Dow Jones
How do you beat the Dow? Occasionally, by reading TTAC. Yesterday, we wrote about Beijing rumors that Daimler and China’s BAIC are planning a big tie-up.
While we at TTAC are busy looking for the appropriate tie-up pictures, in case the rumor should prove true, the Dow Jones Newswire reports today:
Hyundai Hops On The China Brandwagon
Hyundai, which has a flourishing and fast-growing joint venture with Beijing’s BAIC, is jumping on the bandwagon of fake Chinese brands. Probably not on Hyundai’s own volition, and probably with a lot of gentle urging by the Chinese government which thinks that the answer to China’s cluttered market is brands, brands, and more brands.
Carnewschina has it that the new brand of the Hyundai/BAIC JV will be called “Shouwang.”
Saab Lives! As The BAIC C70
While Saab in Sweden is in the emergency room with wires and drips attached, Saab will be back from the dead at the Guangzhou Auto Show. This is when BAIC will show what they have produced from the Saab tooling that they had bought at fire-sale-prices when Saab had gone bust before.
Opel Soap, Day 3: Unions Demand Clarity, Deep Throat Speaks
Opel workers in Germany are getting increasingly frustrated and are banging the table. Rainer Einenkel, head of the works council in Bochum, today demanded that GM management in Detroit “immediately makes a clear and unambiguous statement, and to deny the plans of a sale without ifs and buts.” Rainel Einenkel writes on the website of the works council in Bochum that “ambiguous statements aren’t helpful, neither for the workers nor for our products.”
Yesterday, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel also demanded clarification from Detroit after the German newspaper Die Welt had written that China’s BAIC had made an offer for Opel. The paper said that GM’s board is tilting towards cutting Opel loose. On Thursday, Der Spiegel and Auto Bild had written that “GM is slowly wising up to the fact that the reasons that led to the planned Opel sale in 2009 have not changed.” Media reports said that GM CEO Dan Akerson is getting impatient.
Now, it seems, there is impatience all around.
In the meantime, I finally tracked down my former Opel executive who always had been a dependable source.
Opel Soap, Day 2.5: China's BAIC Wants Opel, Again
China’s BAIC, the car company that is for all intents and purposes owned by the city of Beijing, is after Opel. That’s what Germany’s Welt, a paper usually well connected with the current German government, heard “from sources inside the company.”