Mercedes-Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz) and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), the German and Chinese automotive groups, today announced that they formally form the global joint venture “smart Automobile Co., Ltd.” for the smart have established brand after receiving the legal approvals.
The total registered capital of the joint venture will amount to RMB 5.4 billion to transform smart into a leading player in premium and intelligent electric vehicles. Both parties will equally contribute RMB 2.7 billion, the share of Mercedes-Benz AG being mainly covered by the contribution of the smart brand. The global headquarters of the new joint venture is located in Hangzhou Bay, Ningbo, with operational sales functions in China and Germany.
The new generation of smart vehicles is designed by the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Design network and developed by the global engineering network of Geely. The future production will take place in China. As part of the vehicle development program, the smart product portfolio will be expanded to the fast-growing B segment that is in line with smart’s brand positioning with a focus on purely premium electric and connected vehicles.
The board of directors of the new smart joint venture will consist of six executives with equal representation from both parties. Representatives of the board of Daimler AG include Hubertus Troska, member of the board of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China, Britta Seeger, member of the board of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for marketing and sales, and Markus Schäfer, Member of the board of directors of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Geely Holding board members include Geely Holding Chairman Li Shufu, Geely Holding President, Geely Auto Group President and CEO An Conghui, Geely Holding Executive Vice President and CFO Daniel Donghui Li.
Tong Xiangbei has been named the new global CEO of the smart joint venture and will oversee all activities related to the brand, including sales, marketing, R&D, production and after sales. Tong has more than two decades of experience in the automotive industry. Before joining the smart joint venture, he worked for global automotive OEMs, both in the United States and in China.
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said: “After having received all necessary legal approvals, we are now ready to start the joint venture with our partner Geely that has been prepared in recent months . The joint venture will bring the next generation of smart electric cars without emissions to the Chinese and global markets. We look forward to continuing our collaboration to provide desirable products and services to customers around the world. “
Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding said: “The smart brand has unique value and global influence, it has become a leader in urban mobility. Geely Holding will fully support the smart brand with all the benefits in R&D, production, supply chain and other areas in the joint venture and support development in China and worldwide. We will work with Mercedes-Benz to transform the smart brand into a leading player in urban premium, electric and connected vehicles to successfully develop the brand’s global potential.“