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China: Daimler partners to launch ride-hailing service

 |  October 25, 2018

Daimler Mobility Services and Chinese automotive manufacturer, Geely Group Company, Geely Holding Group’s new business entity, announced Wednesday, October 24, the creation of a high-end ride-hailing joint venture in China.

In a press release, the companies stated the 50-50 joint venture will be headquartered in Hangzhou, providing ride-hailing services in several Chinese cities using premium vehicles including, but not limited to, Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The initial fleet will be comprised of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, E-Class and V-Class, and Maybach vehicles, and could be supplemented by premium electric vehicles from the Geely Group.

The financial terms and investment plans of the joint venture have not been disclosed, noted the companies in the press release. The deal needs approval by merger control authorities.

“Daimler is ideally positioned to continue its transformation by expanding into a comprehensive mobility services company as we pave the way to autonomous driving. With Geely Group, we have found an excellent partner to expand our mobility services in China,” said Klaus Entenmann, CEO Daimler Financial Services AG, in the press release. “The joint venture will play a significant role as we continue to enlarge our portfolio and global presence and solidify our strong position in the mobility market.”

As part of the joint venture, Geely Group Company and Daimler Mobility Services will be equally represented on the board of the new ride-hailing service. Both will work together to develop the software infrastructure to support the business in China.

Geely currently operates the Caocao ride-hailing service, which has more than 17 million registered users and one million regular active users in China. It provides more than 29,000 electronic vehicles in 28 cities around the country and completes more than 360,000 completed trips daily, the companies said in the press release.

“We are delighted to have defined terms for a premium ride-hailing joint venture with Daimler Mobility Services,” said An Conghui, president of Geely Holding Group. “The development of such services, in which both companies already have a presence, forms part of our transformation from a vehicle manufacturer into a global automotive technology group.”

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