BYD e6 electric MPV – Click above for high-res image gallery
Back in March, Daimler and BYD linked up to develop an electric vehicle (EV) for the booming Chinese market. Rumors stirred, suggesting that the duo would release an electric car under a new brand. The two automakers laid out plans to construct a research and development center in Shenzhen to get cracking on the arduous tasks of creating a ground-up vehicle. At the time, Mercedes-Benz chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche called the tie up between Daimler and BYD, "a perfect match." In May, the tie-up became official with the signing of a joint venture agreement that established the Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd.
From the end of May up until just a few days ago, nary a whisper concerning the development of the joint EV had surfaced. But now Zetsche is back at it and this time, he's talking up a storm. Zetsche believes that the vehicle will be ready for introduction sometime in 2012, telling Bloomberg:
The shape and form of the car are soon to be defined and those are the prerequisites for starting development. We know the specific details this car should fulfill. We have made very good progress. The automobile industry has to reinvent itself and global partnerships and cooperation such as those between Daimler and BYD will be crucial in this regard. We have to act in concert to make sure we are up to the huge challenge we are facing.