© Daimler Geely Electronics Production | March 28, 2019
Daimler & Geely form JV to make smart an all electric carmaker
The German automotive group and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group are teaming up to form a 50-50 globally focused joint venture to own, operate and further develop the smart brand.
Under the joint venture agreement, a new generation of smart electric models will be assembled at a new purpose-built electric car factory in China with global sales due to begin in 2022. “We will jointly design and develop the next generation of smart electric cars that combine high-quality production and known safety standards for sale both in China and globally. In the future, we are looking forward to working with all partners to sustain our success in China and worldwide. Separately, Mercedes-Benz will produce a compact electric vehicle at the Hambach plant, sustaining employment with further investment in the facility,” says Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, in the announcement. The joint venture partners have agreed that the new generation of smart vehicles will be styled by the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Design network with engineering from Geely global engineering centers. Future production will be located in China. Li Shufu, Geely Holding Chairman, added: “As equal partners, we are dedicated to promoting the smart brand globally; we will leverage our experience and global competencies in brand management, R&D, manufacturing, supply chain management and other areas. The synergies from this cooperation will lead to mutual benefits, at the same time we will further develop technologies for smart including connectivity, to continue to lead in the industry as it undergoes a wider transformation.” Prior to the launch of new models from 2022 onwards, Daimler will continue to produce the current generation of smart vehicles in its Hambach plant France (smart EQ fortwo) and at Novo Mesto (Slovenia, smart EQ forfour). In parallel, the Hambach plant will assume an additional new role in the Mercedes-Benz Cars production network and will produce a compact electric vehicle by Mercedes-Benz under the new product and technology brand EQ in the future. Mercedes-Benz is investing EUR 500 million on the Hambach plant and will use the expertise of its experienced and motivated smart workforce. The joint venture is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019.