Volvo's owner Geely acquires largest stake in Mercedes-Benz's parent company

Greg Lawrence
February 25, 2018

"Daimler is pleased to announce that with Li Shufu it could win another long-term orientated shareholder, which is convinced by Daimler's innovation strength, strategy and future potential", the German company said in a statement.

Geely, which already owns Volvo and Lotus, has taken a near 10 per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler through its chairman Li Shufu.

"Daimler has got a broad-based portfolio and footprint in China", Daimler said, noting that Beijing Auto remained "a strong partner on site". According to Reuters, that makes Li Shufu, Geely's chairman, Daimler's single largest shareholder.

The investment could provide Geely opportunities to gain a broader advantage as it attempts to expand its global reach amid a shift to electrification and autonomous vehicles, however the companies have not yet mentioned any collaborative projects or intellectual property sharing.

Geely is based in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.

Zhejiang Geely Holding has been on an expansion drive. This month he appeared by video at an automotive conference in Germany, but did not discuss the matter. It also owns the company that makes London's well-known black taxi cabs.

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The Chinese group bought Volvo Cars from Ford in 2010, and has since transformed the fortunes of the Swedish carmaker.

In the Chinese market, Geely Auto has become a top-selling brand.

BMW is controlled by the Quandt-Klatten family, whose billionaire siblings boosted their personal holdings in the second-largest luxury carmaker this year after equally dividing their late mother's stake.

Mercedes-Benz sold more cars in China than any other market past year, some 600,000 cars and SUVs, he said.

The purchase of the stake follows an approach initially last November, when Li sought the purchase of Daimler as a way to access the technology of Mercedes Benz for electric trucks and cars. Daimler is working on both electric cars and battery-powered trucks.

In December past year, it advanced further onto Daimler's turf, investing in AB Volvo, the world's No. 2 truck manufacturer after the Stuttgarters.

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