|Dieter Zetsche (L), Daimler's Chairman of the Board of Management and Xu Heyi, Chairman of the BAIC Group, at the ceremony for strategic cooperation on Feb 1, 2013. [File Photo/Daimler.com]|
Manufacturers building on last year's momentum
Seizing the momentum built last year, major foreign automakers are continuing to expand in the country through increased investments in the development of independent brands and expanding capacity. Domestic brands have also established their names in overseas markets, including mature Western countries. The following are the major moves made by companies in 2013.
Daimler buys stake in BAIC
German automaker Daimler AG in November completed the purchase of a 12-percent stake in its Chinese partner BAIC Motor, the passenger car unit of BAIC Group, becoming the first foreign automaker to hold a significant equity position in a Chinese company.
Under the deal, Hubertus Troska, Daimler AG's management board member responsible for China, and Bodo Uebber, a member of the group's management board and chief financial officer, both have seats at the BAIC Motor board of directors.
The two companies also agreed that BAIC will increase its stake in their production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co by 1 percent to 51 percent.
At the same time, Daimler will increase its share in newly integrated sales joint venture Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co by 1 percent to 51 percent.
To further cement the partnership, the Beijing-based automaker is also mulling an investment in Daimler, said BAIC chairman Xu Heyi.
Daimler announced in August that it is investing 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in Beijing Benz to make it the largest Daimler production facility in the world by 2015, more than doubling the annual capacity to 200,000 units.