Daimler CEO says Li Shufu Partnership requires Consensus from BAIC
Chinese automaker, Geely, recently made waves when its Chairman, Li Shufu, bout a $9 billion stake in German automaker, Daimler. The CEO of Daimler Dieter Zetsche embraced the newfound partnership with Shufu this past Tuesday and gave insight about a potential alliance between the two automakers. The alliance would only be stipulated by an agreement from fellow Chinese partner BAIC, who would have to sign off on the deal according to Zetsche.
BAIC operates a Mercedes Benz factory in Beijing and has been a rather productive and loyal partner for Daimler for several years. The announcement that they would have to approve of a deal goes without saying, given Daimler’s history of strong partnerships.
Zetshe also said that Li understands the company’s position toward a possible deal and Li is hopeful that a deal can be made. The potential of a partnership would be a productive venture for the automakers, at least in theory. If they can share technology and manufacturing ideas, both Daimler and Geely could see marked improvements in their existing products.
Li’s share of Daimler stands at just shy of 10% and he did not ask for a seat on the advisory board, both of which came as a surprise to Zetsche. The move by Li could entice BAIC to join in on buying a stake in the German automaker, something that has been speculated on in the past. If these three automakers can form an alliance it could spell trouble for other automakers doing business in China. With companies like General Motors and Ford already struggling in Asia, the timing could not be better for such a partnership.