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Germany s Daimler, China s Geely join forces on Smart brand

Germany s Daimler, China s Geely join forces on Smart brand
Autos
Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG CEO, speaks at the 84. Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. (AP / Keystone, Sandro Campardo)

Published Thursday, March 28, 2019 5:11AM EDT

BERLIN -- German automaker Daimler and China s Geely are setting up a joint venture to develop and operate Daimler s Smart compact car brand worldwide as an all-electric car maker.

The two companies said Thursday that the 50-50 joint venture should be finalized by the end of this year. They didn t disclose financial details.

The agreement calls for the next generation of Smart cars to be designed by the Mercedes-Benz design network, with engineering from Geely. The companies said the electric models will be assembled at a new factory in China and global sales are expected to begin in 2022.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said that, separately, his company s Mercedes-Benz division will produce a compact electric vehicle at the existing plant in Hambach, France.
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