Leng Yan, executive vice president of Daimler Greater China, disclosed during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) Wednesday that the German auto giant would launch its first Chinese-made electric Benz car model in China next year, The Paper reported.
Leng highlighted the rapid development of China's auto market in recent years. "China was the world's third largest auto market by sales a few years ago, falling behind the U.S. and Germany," said Leng. "Now, the car sales in China has surpassed that of the U.S. and Germany combined."
Leng also pointed out that China is now leading the world in the development of intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) and new energy vehicles (NEVs), believing that the country would make breakthroughs in these two areas in the near future.
"The Chinese government has been making more effort than other countries to develop ICVs and NEVs," said Leng. "Daimler believes that the country will make breakthroughs in these two fields faster than the rest of the world."
According to Leng, Daimler has been partnering with Chinese tech companies to accelerate the development of new ICVs and NEVs since it rolled out its CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Share&Services, Electric) strategy in China two years ago.
The company is now cooperating with the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in integrating the former's onboard interconnection function with the latter's smart home appliance and sound system.
It also forged a strategic partnership with the Chinese search engine Baidu to explore the field of autonomous driving and obtained a license from the government of Beijing for testing its self-driving vehicles on roads in July.
According to Leng, Daimler's first Chinese-made electric car model is named Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV which has a maximum driving mileage of over 450 kilometers.