Smart JV creates Europe subsidiary

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Mercedes-Benz formed a German subsidiary under their China-based joint venture that will produce and market electric vehicles for the Smart brand. 

The subsidiary, in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, a Stuttgart suburb, will manage sales, marketing and aftersales service of the next generation of Smart vehicles, Geely said this week. 

Mercedes manager Dirk Adelmann was named CEO of the subsidiary, Smart Europe, and Martin Gunther, another Mercedes manager, was named CFO.

The appointments were made by Xiangbei Tong, a Geely executive who in January became CEO of Geely Smart Automobile Co., the joint venture Geely and Mercedes established in the east China city of Ningbo in late 2019.

Geely Smart, a 5.4 billion yuan ($771.4 million) partnership equally owned by Geely and Mercedes-Benz, is developing a new architecture for Smart-brand EVs designed by Mercedes-Benz. 

The joint venture tentatively plans to launch sales in 2022, with vehicles produced in China and distributed globally. 

Geely, which purchased a 9.7 percent stake in Mercedes parent Daimler in 2018, operates a separate partnership with Mercedes in China using the Germany luxury brand’s vehicles to provide ride-hailing services.

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