Daimler to start making electric cars in China in 2019

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Daimler is going to start building electric vehicles in China next year as a way to fulfill Beijing’s strict anti-pollution quotas for automakers, even as demand for standard models like the Mercedes-Benz Maybach remains strong.

China has introduced minimum sales necessity for so-called new energy vehicles (NEV’s) and the automaker is on track to meet the quota for this year, Daimler China chief Hubertus Troska stated on Wednesday.

“We are very confident about fulfilling the NEV quotas,” Troska stated, adding that a new fully electric vehicle will be included to local production.

“We start production end of next year,” Troska stated about the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric model.

Chinese customers are still purchasing high-end Maybach models at a rate of 600 vehicles on monthly basis, Troska stated.

Sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are going to continue to increase next year, given that consumer demand for premium cars has bucked entire trend of flagging sales in the world’s largest auto market, Troska informed a briefing in Stuttgart.

“We are absolutely positive regarding business development next year,” Troska stated about growth prospects for Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles.

Although discussions with Chinese automaker Geely about areas of potential collaboration are continuing, Troska stated Daimler was satisfied with its existing China partners which include BAIC and BYD.

Geely founder Li Shufu has asked Mercedes to join a broader alliance after acquiring a 9.69 percent stake previously this year.

Daimler could enter a collaboration with a non-auto company in the area of electric vehicles, Troska stated, refusing to comment further.

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