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Daimler Considering EV + Battery Production In China As Means Of Boosting Sales

Daimler may begin manufacturing Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles and batteries in China in order to boost local sales, going by recent comments made by firm board member Hubertus Troska.

hubertus-troskaDaimler may begin manufacturing Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles and batteries in China in order to boost local sales, going by recent comments made by firm board member Hubertus Troska.

Daimler’s growth in the Chinese auto market has apparently been rapid as of late (~429,000 sold so far in 2016) and the aim is apparently to keep this growth going. As air pollution is a major concern in China, expanding into the electric vehicle sector could be a means of growing in the market even faster than Daimler currently is.

Part of the reason for the strong growth seen in China’s market as of late (with regard to Daimler) has been the strong demand for locally produced vehicles — which is where the firm’s locally produced joint-venture vehicles come in.

Troska noted: “Sales of the C-Class in the past year were phenomenal and we cannot build enough GLCs.”

Reuters provides more: “Building a battery factory in China is ‘among the options in the room,’ Troska said, adding no decision had been made. Troska declined to say whether Mercedes had set a date to start production of its EQ electric car in China. Mercedes aims to have more than 10 all-electric vehicles in its portfolio by 2025 and has pledged to produce its EQ model by the end of the decade. The EQ is based on a C-Class platform which is already being made in China and local authorities are encouraging production in the country.”

Generation EQ Generation EQ Generation EQ

Troska continued: “The strategic plan by the authorities is to push battery electric vehicles. We continue to invest in both battery electric cars and hybrid.”

The advantage of hybrids, according to Troska, is that one needs not wait on a charging station buildout for them to be a compelling alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

As noted above, air pollution problems in most of China are currently pretty severe, and local authorities are now reportedly mulling the implementation of a system like the one California uses to spur manufacturers to offer electrics and high-fuel-economy vehicles.

Such a move would of course have a significant effect on Daimler’s operations in China, so the firm is understandably considering the possible need to introduce more electrics there as well, Troska noted.

As it stands, two-thirds of the vehicles Daimler sells in China are manufactured in China itself — through the Beijing Benz Automotive Company.

 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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