Daimler‘s Mercedes-Benz is planning to build a new electric vehicle (EV) model in China from 2024, according to a German report on Thursday.
It would be the first new model made exclusively in China, the Frankfurt business newspaper Handelsblatt said, adding that the model could be exported to other markets if successful. Daimler declined to comment to Handelsblatt.
Handelsblatt said China was Daimler’s most important car sales market and would continue to be a growth engine in the coming year.
From January to September Mercedes-Benz sold 592,000 vehicles in China, 4% more than the same period in the previous year. The company’s global vehicle sales reached 1.617 million.
Daimler’s China board member, Hubertus Troska, told the paper that the world’s largest market exited the coronavirus crisis “super quickly”, adding that prospects for the premium segment were upbeat. “I’m also very positive for next year,” Troska said.
He said Daimler sees itself well positioned to compete with EV, even if the share of battery-electric models in China sales is still small.
Of about 2 million electric cars sold in China this year, more than 90% were made by Chinese carmakers.
Mercedes plans to offer five EQ brand “e-car” models in China in 2022, four of which will be manufactured locally.
Daimler and its major shareholder Geely are sticking to bringing a smart car from Chinese production onto the market in the coming year. “We’re making very good progress,” said Troska.
- George Russell