* Daimler, BYD to develop electric cars for China
* New brand to be created by Daimler and BYD
* Daimler BYD in talks to extend cooperation agreement
* BYD provides battery know-how, Daimler car expertise
(Adds details, background, CEO quotes)
FRANKFURT, March 1 Daimler (DAIGn.DE) plans to
to develop electric cars for China with battery maker BYD
(1211.HK), underscoring the German auto maker's dependence on
outside companies to gain share in the market for zero-emission
Daimler's alliance continues a trend among European auto
makers, which have scrambled to strike alliances with battery
makers as a way to expand into electric and zero emission cars.
Early movers such as Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), Nissan
Motor Co (7201.T) and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) have set
up joint ventures to produce batteries with Panasonic, NEC and
GS Yuasa Corp (6674.T), respectively.
Hong-Kong listed BYD is backed by U.S. billionaire Warren
Buffett and has its roots as a battery maker for Nokia
NOK1V.HE and Motorola MOT.N. It will provide expertise in
battery technology, while Daimler will provide experience in
electric vehicle architecture, Daimler said.
"We will be able to participate in the potential growth of
electric mobility in China, currently the largest auto market
of the world," Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a
"Electric vehicles are especially well suited for urban
driving. With its many metropolitan areas, China has the
potential to be among the world's largest markets for
zero-emission vehicles," Zetsche said.
Daimler and BYD will establish a new brand for the Chinese
market, and will build a technology center in China to develop
and test the vehicle, Daimler said.
BYD is one of the the fastest growing Chinese auto makers
with plans for agressive expansion in to Europe.
Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD said, "This
technology partnership creates a win-win business model with
complimentary competences. We are very excited about this
opportunity to work together with Daimler, the inventor of the
Daimler follows in the footsteps of Europe's largest auto
maker, Volkswagen (VOWG.DE), which last year said it had plans
to explore a partnership with BYD Co in the area of hybrids and
electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.
As a way to boost its competence in battery technology,
Daimler bought a stake in Tesla Motors Inc, a California
start-up that has used its battery technology to create
high-performance sports cars under its own brand.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor, +49 69 7565 1187;