Daimler signs MoU with BYD to develop electric car for Chinese market

Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz and Maybach cars, and BYD Co., the Chinese car and battery maker backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, have agreed to jointly develop an electric vehicle for the Chinese market, the world's largest auto market.

Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday with BYD Company Limited to enter into a comprehensive technology partnership for the development of electric vehicles for China.

Under the agreement, Daimler and Shenzhen-based BYD will develop a new electric vehicle with requirements specific of the Chinese market.

A common technology centre will be established in China to develop, design and test this electric vehicle, which will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.

Hong Kong-listed BYD, established in 1995, has risen from humble origins to become the world's biggest producer of rechargeable batteries for cellular handsets, a producer of lithium-ion batteries for vehicles and manufacturer of hybrid and electric cars. It has two main industrial divisions, IT and auto division.

Its IT division produces information-technology products including nickel-cadmium and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, mobile-phone displays, keypads and housings; laptop-computer keypads, and more, while its auto division produces electric cars, ranging from economy to luxury models, as well as car moulds and car parts.