Daimler and Beijing Automotive are officially going steady, with the German company set to take a 12-percent stake in the Chinese brand tomorrow. The two are already tied up in a Mercedes engine plant in Beijing, of which BAIC will increase its stake in, from 50 to 51 percent. Daimler will also get two seats on the Chinese company's board. BAIC may also gain the ability to produce cars on Mercedes-Benz platforms, according to Automotive News Europe.
Sometimes, little more than a quote is needed to basically tell the entire story. This is one of those times. The quote below comes from Daimler chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche and his words are poignant, shocking and targeted directly at the thirsty automotive market in China which is growing at an extremely rapid rate. Zetsche openly voiced his thoughts during a round table event in Beijing stating:
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche sign the agreement
2009 Smart Fortwo – Click above for high-res image gallery
Daimler is currently working on a new hybrid vehicle engine that the company calls a transmission-integrated electric engine. As the name suggests, the setup puts the electric engine (motor) into the automatic transmission.
Mercedes-Benz concept BlueZero - Click above for high-res image gallery
After announcing that its plant in Alabama would be slashing production of its slow-selling SUVs, Mercedes-Benz has decided to cut overall output by more than 40,000 units over the next four months. While the slowdown of SUV sales are anything but surprising, even the top-of-the-line S-Class sedan has been hit with a downturn of sales. Reportedly, the German plant in Untertürkheim will also be reducing its output of V6 and V8 engines.
My friend John over at Autoblog did a good job of highlighting the fact that the German automakers cleaned up when it comes to the World Car of the Year finalists. Speaking of cleaning up, (haha) a subcategory of the competition offers up some choices of the "World Green Car", also all from Germany. The finalists are... in no particular order...
The C-class is the entry-level Benz in the North American market. As such, every nouveau riche new graduate seemingly goes out and treats themselves to a slice of flashy bourgeois pie. That can be alarming for the Euro-car fan, as you risk being lumped into that precocious category along with Johnny Overachiever from down the block. There's no denying that the Stuttgart Swabians build nice vehicles, and we've certainly considered parking one in our driveway. We wouldn't want to deny ourselves th