BAIC to Build Cars Using Mercedes Platforms image

Chinese automaker BAIC could use in the future Mercedes platforms to manufacture vehicles.

As Mercedes struggles to reach its rivals Audi and BMW in China, it came up with a strategic plan which includes buying a 12% stake in BAIC, its local JV partner, for 640 million euro.

“The value of our stake will continue to grow with every support that we can provide to BAIC. But there is no final decisions, whether components and platforms can be used by BAIC in the future, and if so which ones,” said Finance Chief Bodo Uebber.

But the fact that Mercedes offers BAIC its entire vehicle platforms is seen as a desperate measure and underlines the tough situation which both companies currently face. BAIC plans to boost volumes relying on its new model, the C70G sedan, manufactured on Saab technology, a company which it acquired during its bankruptcy.

On another matter, last month BAIC announced that actor Nicolas Cage will be the brand ambassador for the company and will appear in a TV commercial in May. The automaker said that it chose the 49-year-old actor because he is well-known to the Chinese audiences, especially the 40-year-old targeted buyers.

“Cage will be our ambassador for the Senova D series that will hit the market soon,” said Alex Qu, a spokesman for the company.