Daimler, the world’s second-largest maker of luxury cars, and BYD, the electric car maker in China, have signed an agreement to set up a "comprehensive" technology partnership to develop electric vehicles for the Chinese market. The carmakers plan to develop a model that will be sold under a jointly owned new brand.
The Shenzhen, China-based battery maker entered the automobile market in 2003 and may well benefit from Daimler’s experience in vehicle making, while Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler plans to take advantage of BYD’s battery technology to help boost Chinese sales.
The company was China’s sixth-biggest car manufacturer by sales last year. BYD, 10% owned by Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway introduced a plug-in hybrid car in December 2008 and said in January it will sell an electric car in the US this year.
BusinessWeek reported that in a joint statement Daimler’s Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche and BYD’s Chuanfu said, “China has the potential to be among the world’s largest markets for zero-emission vehicles.”