Mercedes-Benz is set to build smart-branded electric cars with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in Xian, China from a base with a yearly capacity of around 150,000 vehicles, a senior official from its German parent Daimler AG stated on Saturday.
Daimler’s Executive Vice President in China Leng Yan informed Reuters on the sidelines of China’s EV100 forum in Beijing, an annual event where the auto industry executives meet to talk about the policies and the industry.
Geely and Mercedes-Benz stated on Wednesday they would each spend 2.7 billion yuan ($388.8 million) in a China-based venture to create “premium and intelligent electrified” vehicles under the Smart brand.
Like Mercedes-Benz, Smart is a Daimler marque. The companies stated at the time that the venture, which will be established in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo, will have production capacity in China and sales operations in China and Germany.
Geely, holding a 9.7% stake in Stuttgart-based Daimler, is constructing auto plants in Xian, according to construction bidding documents provided on its website. Daimler, which partners with BAIC Group to build luxury Mercedes-Benz cars in Beijing, builds trucks with BAIC’s unit Beiqi Foton Motor as well.
Smart made deliveries of about 116,800 vehicles globally in 2019, Daimler stated in a January 9 statement.