November 29, 2018 11:13 CET
STUTTGART — Daimler is on track to meet the quota for so-called new-energy vehicles (NEV’s) in China this year, the automaker’s China boss, Hubertus Troska, said.
Daimler will start production of the electric Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV next year as the automaker uses EVs as a way to help it meet Beijing’s stringent anti-pollution quotas for automakers, even as demand for conventional models from the luxury brand remains strong in the world’s No. 1 market, buoyed by a 10 percent reduction in import tariffs introduced in July.
Sales of Mercedes cars will continue to grow next year, given that consumer demand for premium cars has bucked an overall trend of flagging sales in the world’s largest auto market, Troska told a briefing in Stuttgart. As an example, he said Chinese customers are still buying high-end Maybach models at a rate of 600 vehicles a month.
“We are absolutely positive about business development next year,” Troska said.
Although talks with Chinese automaker Geely about areas of potential cooperation are continuing, Troska said Daimler was very happy with its existing China partners which include BAIC and BYD.
Geely founder Li Shufu has asked Mercedes to enter a broader alliance after acquiring a 9.69 percent stake in the German automaker earlier this year.
Daimler could enter a cooperation with a non-auto company in the area of electric vehicles, Troska said, declining to comment further.
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