News - Geely
Geely acquires nearly 10 per cent of Daimler AG
Chinese brand Geely to leverage Daimler buy-in for EV and autonomous technologies
26 Feb 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
GEELY founder and chairman Li Shufu has become the largest single shareholder in Mercedes-Benz parent-company Daimler AG after acquiring 9.69 per cent of the German company last week, equating to 103,619,340 shares valued at $US9 billion ($A11.47 billion).
The buy-in will allow Geely, officially known as Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, access to Daimler’s electric and autonomous vehicle technologies to ward off disruptors from outside the automotive industry, Mr Shufu told Reuters.
“No current car industry player is likely to win this battle against the invaders from outside without friends,” he said.
“To achieve and assert technological leadership, one has to adapt a new way of thinking in terms of sharing and combing strength.
“My investment in Daimler reflects this vision.”
Geely currently owns Swedish car-maker Volvo, new-brand Lynk & Co and recently-acquired flying car company Terrarfugia, as well as majority holdings in Proton and Lotus.
Daimler will debut its EV technology next year with the introduction of the EQ sub-brand and will continue development of its self-driving technologies already present on models such as the E-Class and S-Class.
Left: Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu
Mr Shufu also said there were no present plans to increase his stake further and the focus would be to meet the increasing challenges from new competitors including Tesla, Uber and Google.
It is expected Mr Shufu, along with other Geely officials, will meet with Daimler’s board of management this week to discuss future plans.
In a statement from the German car-maker, it said: “Daimler is pleased to announce that with Li Shufu it could win another long-term orientate shareholder, which is convinced by Daimler’s innovation strength, the strategy and the future potential.
“Daimler knows and appreciates Li Shufu as an especially knowledgeable Chinese entrepreneur with clear vision for the future, with whom one can constructively discuss the change in the industry.”
However, Daimler is also currently tied with Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC) forming a joint venture called Beijing Benz to assemble and sell the Mercedes-Benz E- and C-Class models in China.
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