Daimler AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the German and Chinese automotive groups, announced the formation of a 50-50 globally focused joint venture to own, operate, and further develop Smart as premium-electrified vehicles. Under the joint venture agreement, new Smart electric models will be assembled at a new purpose-built electric car factory in China with global sales due to begin in 2022.
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, “For more than 2.2 million customers, Smart represents a pioneer in urban mobility. Based on this success story, we look forward to further enhancing the brand with Geely Holding, a strong partner in the electric vehicle segment. 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.”