Mercedes-Benz‘s parent company Daimler and China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams) marked the first appearance of their new joint venture brand Denza at a motor show with the world premiere of a new concept model that outlines a production vehicle that will launch in early 2013.
The Denza brand will focus exclusively on pure electric vehicles. Under the deal, the German automaker provides its knowledge in vehicle architecture, safety systems and production, while BYD contributes the batteries and the e-drive system to the joint venture.
The concept car unveiled at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing gives us a first idea of what the full electric battery-driven hatchback will look like. Daimler said that the production model was designed, and will be built and sold in China.
“We brought traditional Chinese elements forward into the next generation with a priority on ergonomic design and some futuristic innovations,” said Denza CEO Lian Yubo. “The rear seating area was designed to feel as much as possible like a lounge area. The lounge character really comes out through the reclining rear seats integrated into the design.”
Daimler said that it created the Denza brand because it expects the electric car market to explode in China over the next few years.
According to Daimler, thanks to the hugely expanding middle class combined with the increasing urbanization, and a supportive government determined to reduce its reliance on crude oil, it is believed that the number of electric cars in China will rise from a current level of 10,000 to a whopping 5,000,000 units by 2020.