Daimler, BAIC to invest $735 million in electric vehicles in China

Sign shows to Daimler AG headquarter near Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, Germany, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle - RTX30A29

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Daimler DAIGn.DE and its Chinese joint venture partner BAIC Motor Corporation 1958.HK have agreed to jointly invest 5 billion yuan ($735 million) in battery electric vehicle production in China by 2020 and to provide the infrastructure needed.

Of that investment, a three-digit million euro sum is to be invested in a new battery factory to be built in China by joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC), Daimler said in a statement on Wednesday.

“By 2025, the Chinese market will have a substantial share in global sales of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles,” management board member Hubertus Troska said.

Daimler and BAIC signed a framework agreement last month to upgrade production facilities at BBAC to make New Energy Vehicles, a label for so-called low-emission vehicles which include hybrid and pure battery electric cars.

Reporting by Niamh Melvin; Editing by Maria Sheahan