Mercedes says it will continue to invest in China tie-ups

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 9:43 PM

By Sarah Wu

BEIJING (Reuters) -Mercedes Benz’s China chief said on Thursday the company would continue to invest in tie-ups with Chinese partners like internet firm Baidu, noting China was crucial to its global strategy.

China was “the most dynamic new energy vehicle market”, Hubertus Troska said at a press conference on the opening day of the Beijing autoshow that was also attended by Baidu CEO Robin Li.

Mercedes sales chief, Duan Jianjun, told the same event that they had brought a number of electric models to the show and that the German automaker hoped this would put to rest “rumours” that the company had given up on electrification.

The executives also said Mercedes would launch the electric G-class in China this year.

In February, Mercedes pushed back some of its sales goals for electrified vehicles by five years and assured investors it would keep sprucing up its combustion-engine models.

It is among foreign automakers scrambling to reset their strategies in the world’s auto market as local rivals aggressively roll out new mass-market and luxury EVs at a fast pace. In the first quarter, Mercedes’ first-quarter sales in China fell 12%.

(Reporting by Sarah Wu; Writing by Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)