Daimler Benz Is Really Uncomfortable With Geely’s Major Shareholder
Industry News
Geely is getting mixed messages from Daimler Benz, maker of the Mercedes brand, on the one hand, the Daimler CEO is publically welcoming the new shareholding from a rival Chinese auto brand. On the other hand, Daimler Benz executives are openly questioning the shareholding albeit off-the-record and not wanting to be named. So what’s going on? Geely is an automotive manufacturing company based in China. It acquired Volvo in 2010, owns nearly 50% of Malaysian based car maker Proton and has a stake in Volvo trucks. Geeley’s Chairman, Li Shufu, has been buying Daimler shares, he now owns 10 percent and that makes him the biggest single shareholder, he paid a few billion in the process. While Daimler welcomes an injection of cash they were hoping that Shufu would be an investor seeking to make a profit in a few years time. However, Shufu’s stake in Daimler is intended to be a shrewd investment. He essentially wants to leverage his stakeholding to influence Daimler into creating an auto-alliance. That would mean Daimler Benz co-operating with Geeley and sharing technology such as electric car and autonomous driving tech. Geeley wouldn’t mind picking parts from other Daimler made components such as brakes, shock absorbers and much more besides. However, Daimler Benz currently has an alliance with Nissan Renault and a separate deal with a Geeley’s homegrown rival BIAC. A new alliance with a Chinese rival would make for an awkward relationship all around. In the meantime, Volvo executives are less enthusiastic about any co-operation with Dainler Benz, a company they see as a rival and competitor. Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo CEO said recently “If you believe you can do it better yourself, you have no interest to share it with somebody else,”. So is Li Shufu serious about a technology-sharing alliance with Daimler or is he being a disruptive influence to test the markets? We think the latter is more plausible.  Dieter-Zetsche-Li-Shufu-Deadlocked-Dailycarblog
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