Daimler AG is reportedly working with one of its biggest investors in China to commence a ride-hailing and car-sharing service that would lock horns with the industry leader Didi Chuxing.
The German auto giant is reportedly in talks with Li Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. to plan a 50-50 joint venture to set up the services. However, the discussions have not been finalised yet, sources at Automotive News suggested.
The services would lead to a more concrete cooperation between Geely and Daimler and smelt a deeper bond that started after the former acquired almost 10 per cent of the German auto-giant early this year.
Geely Group founder Li Shufu stated that investment forms the basis for partnerships in an era where ‘traditional manufacturers can no longer go at it alone against new entrants with fresh technology.’
This news comes when Daimler’s potential competitor in China, Didi Chuxing is facing unexpected scrutiny from the Government. To commence the services Daimler is expected to use cars from its EV brand Denza, a joint venture with Warren Buffet-backed BYD Co.
Leading experts suggest that in spite of being the world’s largest auto market, China may end Daimler’s near-three-decade growth majorly because people are now preferring ride-hailing services instead of owning a vehicle.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, at the Paris Motor Show earlier this month, told that the talks with Geely over a possible project were ‘very constructive’ and that it looks ‘very promising so far’.