(Yicai Global) Sept. 14 -- Daimler Greater China Investment Co., the Chinese subsidiary of multinational carmaker Daimler AG [FWB:DAI] may increase investment for the Denza brand, its new-energy vehicle joint venture with BYD Co. [SHE:002594;HKG:1211], China's largest electric car producer, said executive Hubertus Troska at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show.
"We will not give up on Denza, and there will be further investment in the future," he said.
The joint venture could be upgraded from technical-level to a fully functioning operation in the future, similar to the joint venture set up between Volkswagen AG [FWB:VOW] and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp. [SHA:600418], better known as JAC.
Jianghuai Volkswagen Motor Co. plans to set up integrated research, production and sales functions for new-energy vehicles, including production qualifications.
Daimler and BYD only work together on research and development at present, while BYD works independently on OEM production.
Troska did not disclose a time-frame for the initiatoin of a full joint venture. "Although it seems that there is no such need for now, it does not rule out the possibility for future development in this direction," he said.
Daimler and BYD signed a joint venture agreement in 2010 to establish BYD Daimler New Technology with a 50-50 split. It aims to developing electric vehicles for the Chinese market.
The companies unveiled the Denza brand in 2012, with Daimler providing the engineering and design and BYD providing battery technology and propulsion systems. Denza's first model was released in September 2014.
Daimler and BAIC Motor Corp. [HKG:1958] signed a cooperation agreement in July 2017 to jointly invest CNY5 billion (USD764 million) to set up a pure-electric vehicle production base and power battery factory. The deal would also allow Mercedes-Benz greater market access in China for its pure-electric cars.