STUTTGART, Germany, April 4 Chinese state-owned
automaker BAIC Motor could in the future build cars off vehicle
architectures used to make Mercedes-Benz luxury cars, its German
partner Daimler said.
Daimler's Mercedes brand is heavily lagging larger peers BMW
and Audi in China, and part of its
strategy to close the gap included buying a 12 percent stake in
its local joint venture partner for 640 million euros ($822.3
"The value of our stake will continue to grow with every
support that we can provide to BAIC. But there is no final
decisions, whether components and platforms can be used by BAIC
in the future, and if so which ones," Finance Chief Bodo Uebber
told Reuters in comments published on Thursday.
Offering BAIC Motor entire vehicle platforms from which to
build cars is a highly unusual move and underlines the severe
difficulty both partners are facing.
BAIC plans to join listed-rivals Dongfeng Motor
and Geely through a debut on the Hong Kong stock
market, most likely sometime next year once Daimler's deal to
purchase a stake has closed.
But hardly any BAIC cars can be found on the street given
its own Chinese brand is very weak even when compared to
The Beijing-based carmaker aims to boost volumes now through
a model offensive that includes the C70G sedan, built using Saab
technology it purchased during the Swedish carmaker's
Mercedes for its part is far behind its German premium
competitors in China. Sales sank 20 percent in the first two
months to 26,829 cars.
By comparison, market leader Audi sold 67,946 cars during
the same period for a gain of 16 percent.
($1 = 0.7783 euros)
(Reporting By Hendrik Sackmann, writing by Christiaan Hetzner;
editing by Harro ten Wolde)