Geely confirms 50:50 stake in Smart

The Chinese automotive group has bought a 50 per cent share in Smart, with the aim of producing a new all-electric Smart car by 2022

Geely has taken a 50 per cent stake in the Smart city car brand from parent company Daimler, it has been confirmed. The pair will build a new generation of all-electric Smart models by 2022, with production taking place at Geely’s purpose-built factory in China.

Plans for the Geely-Daimler joint venture will be finalised by the end of 2019. But we know that the next generation of Smart cars will be styled by Mercedes’s own design house, while the board will comprise six representatives with equal representation from both parties. Full financial terms of the agreement are yet to be disclosed.

• Geely buys a 10 per cent stake in Daimler AG

As part of its expansion strategy, Geely and Daimler will also broaden the Smart range into the B-segment market, producing a premium rival for the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Audi A1 Sportback, it has emerged.

Until 2022, Daimler will continue to build the current Smart EQ ForTwo and EQ ForFour at its facilities in Hambach, France and Novo Mesto, Slovenia respectively. From 2022 Daimler’s Hambach plant will begin construction of a new EQ-branded compact electric car, following a €500 million investment by Mercedes-Benz.

Daimler’s Chairman of the Board, Dieter Zetsche, said: “We look forward to further enhancing the brand with Geely Holding, a strong partner in the electric vehicle segment. We will jointly design and develop the next generation of smart electric cars that combine high-quality production and known safety standards for sale both in China and globally.”

Geely’s new partnership with Daimler Auto Group follows its recent £6.4 billion investment in the German company. Over the last decade, Geely has taken total financial control of Volvo, Polestar, the London Taxi Company, Lynk & Co and Yuan Cheng Auto, as well as partially financial control of Proton and Lotus.

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