The Auto China 2014 in Beijing will host the world premiere of the Denza electric vehicle, the first production model of the joint-venture between Daimler AG and its Chinese partner BYD.
Called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology (BDNT), the JV is dedicated exclusively to electric vehicles. To prepare for the market introduction of the Denza EV, BDNT is currently carrying out intensive testing of pre-production. So far, the Denza has been tested in dusty, summer conditions in the South of China, with winter tests to begin soon in the freezing cold of north-eastern China.
The plant in Shenzhen is also running production tests in order to start building what BDNT calls “the safest and most reliable electric vehicle”, designed and engineered in China for the local market.
Previewed by a concept car at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, the Denza EV may be based on the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, judging from the shape of the development prototype shown in the photo.
Following the car’s premiere in Beijing, the first Denza dealership will open in the Chinese capital by mid-2014, with further dealerships being built simultaneously in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Three of China’s leading automobile dealership groups, Zhongsheng Group Holdings Limited (Zhongsheng Group), Lei Shing Hong Auto (China) Management Co., Ltd. (LSH), and Pangda Automobile Trade Co., Ltd. (Pangda Group), will become the first dealers responsible for the distribution and service of Denza electric vehicles, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year.
Mercedes isn’t the only German maker to create a new brand for electric cars in China as BMW has done the same with Zinoro, which has already released its first model, the E1.
By Dan Mihalascu