Chinese carmaker BAIC Motor and Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, the third largest luxury automaker in the world, have announced plans to expand their ongoing partnership relation.
The Chinese automaker will purchase 35 percent of the German company’s Mercedes-Benz Leasing Co, according to a joint statement coming from both firms released this weekend. BAIC Motor is the passenger car division of state-owned Beijing Automotive Group – a company that has been listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange back in December. To pay for the purchase, the firm is now planning a capital hike. According to the joint statement, the agreement will be finalized ate the end of the second or beginning of the third quarter this year, after gathering the necessary authority approvals. Daimler will still hold majority in the financial arm, owning a stake of 65 percent. “With this, even more Chinese customers will be able to fulfill their dream of a Mercedes-Benz car in future,” commented Xu Heyi, chief of the BAIC Motor Corp.
Mercedes-Benz Leasing Co was introduced back in 2012 in China to allow the German carmaker to become the first car brand in the country to have leases focused on both individual customers and business buyers. Last year, 25 percent of Daimler’s autos sold in China were financed or leased through the company’s loan arm. Mercedes-Benz has been reorganizing its activities in China in recent years, aiming to recuperate the distance between its brand sales and those of its two larger rivals – BMW and Audi.