Mercedes is about to start production of three new cars at its joint venture with BAIC in China in a bid to increase its market share in the country.
The EQC will become the first locally produced electric SUV to be offered by a luxury brand in China, while the A35L Sedan will be the first AMG model that’s produced in the country. As for the GLB, it will be the third crossover built there, after the GLA and GLC.
By producing these models locally, Mercedes will avoid paying tariffs and also comply with the country’s legislation that require car makers to expand their electrified vehicle output.
Aside from the GLA and GLC, Mercedes has been building stretched versions of the A-Class, C-Class and E-Class sedans at its Beijing joint venture for some time now. During the first six months of 2019, the German car maker delivered around 282,000 locally produced vehicles in China, a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2018.
Mercedes has been also building three vans in the country. The Vito, Sprinter and V-Class are manufactured by a different joint venture with BAIC, which became Daimler’s second major Chinese shareholder after acquiring a 5 percent stake in the company.
Recent reports suggested that Daimler might seek to gain a majority stake in Beijing Benz Automotive, which is their main joint venture with BAIC.