Daimler, Geely Mull Deeper Alliance

February 06, 2019 at 8:42 AM

Daimler AG is in talks about broadening its relationship with China’s Geely Group, which a year ago acquired a nearly 10% stake in the German firm.

The discussions include a range of collaborations with the potential for a “bigger dimension” than their current partnership, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said today at the carmaker’s annual press conference in Germany. He didn’t elaborate.

With last year’s investment, Geely became Daimler’s largest shareholder. In October, the companies formed a 50:50 venture to launch their own ride-hailing service in China to compete against market leader DiDi Chuxing.

Zetsche pushed back against an idea floated yesterday by German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier that the government could buy stakes in domestic companies to thwart foreign takeovers. Noting that Daimler isn’t asking for such protections, Zetsche declared that countries which pursue industrial policies “tend not to be competitive.”