• May 27, 2010
BYD e6 electric MPV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Daimler and BYD have been public about their mutual attraction since March, when the two companies announced they would work together to bring electric cars to the Chinese market. Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche made overtures when he said Daimler's electric vehicle architecture and BYD's battery technology and electric drive systems were "a perfect match." We then learned the partnership would bring a new brand of electric cars to market from a new research and development center in Shenzhen.

Thus, it should surprise no one that BYD and Daimler have made it official, signing a joint venture contract in Beijing that establishes the Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd. The new JV will be owned half and half by the two parent companies and it tasked with "developing an electric vehicle for China." The two companies will invest RMB 600 million (around $87 million U.S., at today's exchange rate) in the JV. For lots of love notes quotes from company execs about the new partnership, check out the press release after the jump.



[Source: Daimler]

PRESS RELEASE

BYD Company Limited and Daimler AG Sign Joint Venture Contract to Develop Electric Vehicles in China

-- BYD and Daimler AG to establish 'Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd,' a 50:50 research and technology center to develop electric cars in China -- Mr. Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD Company Limited: 'Together with Daimler we are making excellent progress identifying opportunities to utilize the strengths of both companies to create a new brand of electric cars for China. This is a unique and exciting initiative and together we are pushing hard to bring this new electric vehicle to market as soon as possible.' -- Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG: 'Our new joint venture is well positioned to make the most of the vast potential of electric mobility in China. We are fortunate to have excellent joint venture partners in China and the establishment of this research and technology center with BYD adds another dimension to our growing presence in this important market.'

BEIJING, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BYD Company Limited and Daimler AG today signed a contract creating a 50:50 research and technology joint venture called "Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd," that will develop an electric vehicle for China.

BYD and Daimler will invest RMB 600 million to use as registered capital for the Joint venture. The new generation of electric vehicles developed by the joint venture will capitalize on Daimler's know how in electric vehicle architecture and safety as well as BYD's excellence and battery technology and e-drive systems. The vehicle will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.

Mr. Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD Company Limited: "Together with Daimler we are making excellent progress identifying opportunities to utilize the strengths of both companies to create a new brand of electric cars for China. This is a unique and exciting initiative and together we are pushing hard to bring this new electric vehicle to market as soon as possible."

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG: "Our new joint venture is well positioned to make the most of the vast potential of electric mobility in China. We are fortunate to have excellent joint venture partners in China and the establishment of this research and technology center with BYD adds another dimension to our growing presence in this important market."

Chairman Wang and Dr. Zetsche signed the joint venture contract today in Beijing. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on March 1. Engineers, designers and other executives from both companies established working teams after the signing of the MOU to begin working on the vehicle concept. The business license for the new joint venture is subject to relevant government approval.

Daimler is a leader in sustainable mobility and in developing automotive architectures for zero-emissions driving. The company recently launched the smart for two electric drive and this year will introduce two Mercedes-Benz electric cars: the B-Class F-CELL with fuel cell technology as well as the battery electric A-Class E-CELL.

BYD is China's leading manufacturer in developing advanced battery technology, a field it has invested in since 1995. The company has enjoyed rapid growth for five years after entering the automotive sector in 2003. It is the fastest growing Chinese automotive manufacturer. BYD introduced its F3DM dual-mode hybrid electric vehicle to the world in December 2008 and started direct sales to individual customers in March 2010. The company recently launched the e6, a pure electric vehicle and established itself as the first manufacturer in China to commercialize taxi business with its e6.

Further information on Daimler is available on the internet at: http://media.daimler.com/

This document contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current views about future events. The words "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "should" and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including a lack of further improvement or a renewed deterioration of global economic conditions, in particular a renewed decline of consumer demand and investment activity in Western Europe or the United States, or a downturn in major Asian economies; a continuation or worsening of the tense situation in the credit and financial markets, which could result in a renewed increase in borrowing costs or limit our funding flexibility; changes in currency exchange rates or interest rates; the ability to continue to offer fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly products; a permanent shift in consumer preference towards smaller, lower margin vehicles; the introduction of competing, fuel-efficient products and the possible lack of acceptance of our products or services, which may limit our ability to adequately utilize our production capacities or raise prices; price increases in fuel, raw materials and precious metals; disruption of production due to shortages of materials, labor strikes, or supplier insolvencies; a further decline in resale prices of used vehicles; the effective implementation of cost-reduction and efficiency-optimization programs at all of our segments, including the repositioning of our truck activities in the NAFTA region and in Asia; the business outlook of companies in which we hold an equity interest, most notably EADS; the successful implementation of the strategic cooperation with Renault, changes in laws, regulations and government policies, particularly those relating to vehicle emissions, fuel economy and safety; the resolution of pending governmental investigations and the outcome of pending or threatened future legal proceedings; and other risks and uncertainties, some of which we describe under the heading "Risk Report" in Daimler's most recent Annual Report and under the headings "Risk Factors" and "Legal Proceedings" in Daimler's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If any of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or if the assumptions underlying any of our forward-looking statements prove incorrect, then our actual results may be materially different from those we express or imply by such statements. We do not intend or assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made.

About Daimler

Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management.

The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility. The Group applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. With the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only vehicle producer investing in hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel-cell systems, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment.

Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world's most valuable automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, New York and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2009, the Group sold 1.6 million vehicles and employed a workforce of more than 256,000 people; revenue totaled euro 78.9 billion and EBIT amounted minus euro 1.5 billion
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