German automaker Daimler AG will soon sign a contract with BYD Auto Company to cooperate on developing electric vehicles, said Dieter Zetsche, board chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz, yesterday.
Daimler AG has ratified a memorandum of understanding with BYD on March 1 to establish a technological cooperation fellowship and has already sent BYD 10 engineers. It expects to develop new types of electric cars suited to the Chinese market and to set up a new brand together with BYD.
Electric cars are considered to be the future of alternative-energy cars. Mercedes-Benz, however, compared to competitors, has no advantages in core development aspects of electric cars. Zetsche said alternative-energy cars will be the new growth point for Daimler in China.
China's auto production and sales exceeded 13 million last year, of which passenger cars accounted for more than 9 million. Zetsche said taking merely 1 percent of the market of 13 million new alternative-energy vehicles would be a boon for Daimler.
It is reported Rudolf Bekink, ambassador of the Netherlands, said in the Fourth Chinese Foreign Investment Symposium that the Netherlands has reached a purchase agreement with BYD to import electric cars in 2011, which means BYD will be the first electric vehicles supplier in the Dutch market.