On the evening of June 28th, smart Brand Worldwide issued a clarification denying that Mercedes-Benz and Geely had withdrawn from smart shareholders. In a statement about false information about the withdrawal of Mercedes-Benz and Geely from smart shareholders, smart said: "at present, smart-branded Global is still a joint venture jointly owned by Mercedes-Benz and Geely on an equal share ratio. In order to meet the needs of enterprise development and seize the opportunity of market development, we will flexibly adjust the strategic deployment. "
However, the statement did not further explain whether Mercedes-Benz and Geely have withdrawn from Smart Motor. Smart Motor, the announced smart brand global company, is a smart joint venture in China, jointly funded by Geely and Mercedes-Benz, each with a 50 per cent stake.
According to the national enterprise credit information publicity system, industrial and commercial changes have taken place in Zhi Motor Automobile Co., Ltd. On June 7, the type of enterprise was changed from a limited liability company (Sino-foreign joint venture) to a limited liability company (wholly foreign-owned, non-wholly-owned). In addition, Mercedes-Benz Co., Ltd. withdrew from Zhimada Motor Co., Ltd. on June 7, while Geely withdrew on June 25, triggering extensive discussion in the industry.
At present, SMART MOBILITY PTE.LTD. And SMART MOBILITY INTERNATIONAL PTE.LTD. It has become the controlling shareholder of Zhimada Automobile Co., Ltd., with 50% of the shares held by both parties. It is believed that the change in the above information means that Geely Group and Mercedes-Benz have withdrawn from the ranks of shareholders of the smart brand, and that smart may focus on promoting the layout of the global market, but in the latest statement, smart Brand Global issued a clarification denying that Mercedes-Benz and Geely have withdrawn from the ranks of shareholders.
Smart brand was founded in 1994, from the German Mercedes-Benz intelligent pure electric car brand, although the smart brand has Mercedes-Benz gene, but due to product positioning and price and other reasons, smart brand in the global awareness is not high, sales data is also very common. In order to reverse the sluggish sales, the smart brand stopped production of all fuel vehicles in 2019.
In March 2019, Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group and Daimler AG announced that they would set up a joint venture to jointly operate and promote the transformation of the smart brand around the world, with a view to building smart into a global leading high-end electric smart car brand. The joint venture is headquartered in China and is 50 per cent owned by both sides. But the two sides worked together earlier in 2018, when Geely became Daimler's largest shareholder with a capital ratio of about $9 billion, with a share ratio of nearly 10 per cent.
At the beginning of 2020, Geely Holdings Group and Mercedes-Benz announced the formal establishment of the global joint venture "Smart Motor Automobile Co., Ltd." of the smart brand, each holding 50% of the shares. The two shareholders will jointly operate and promote the transformation of the smart brand around the world, committed to building smart into a high-end electric smart car brand, and clarify their respective responsibilities. Mercedes-Benz leads the design, Geely leads engineering development, smart brand transformation focuses on pure electric vehicles, and the architecture and core powertrain of the models are provided by Geely.
According to public information, Zhimada Automobile Co., Ltd. was established in December 2019 with a registered capital of 5.4 billion yuan. It is registered in Ningbo and is also the headquarters of Geely Group. The members of the board of directors of the company have not changed. Tong Xiangbei, the legal representative, is still the general manager of the company, and the chairman is Li Shufu. According to the unchanged equity ratio, the two major new shareholders are wholly owned subsidiaries of Geely Group and Mercedes-Benz, but as of press time, this news has not been officially confirmed.
According to the official website, there are two models under the smart brand, smart elf # 1 and smart elf # 3, of which smart elf # 1 went on sale in June 2022 with a price range of 18.16 yuan to 226600 yuan, while smart elf # 3 went on sale earlier this month with a price range of 20.99 yuan to 289900 yuan. Both models are pure electric models, based on Geely vast SEA architecture, the appearance and interior design from Mercedes-Benz, Geely provides SEA vast pure electric architecture and overall engineering research and development.
Data show that from January to May 2023, the smart brand delivered a total of 19711 vehicles in China, of which 2624 in May. Compared with the mainstream pure tram brands, the monthly sales of 2624 vehicles is not high, which also means that smart will face greater competitive pressure in the domestic market. It should be noted that in addition to the layout of the Chinese market, the smart brand adheres to the global operation and adopts the market strategy of "China-Europe dual core, global layout". At present, it is accelerating the layout of overseas markets.
Smart has already been delivered in the European market. Following the opening of delivery in the German market in March this year, smart Wizard # 1 will be launched on the French market on June 1 and will be launched gradually as planned in Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and other European markets.
In August 2022, Geely's Proton announced a partnership agreement with smart to sell and serve smart cars in Malaysia and Thailand. The first model will be the new smart Spirit # 1, which is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year. On May 25th, Proton announced that it had appointed EON (Edaran Otomobil Nasional Berhad), DRB-HICOM 's auto retail division, as the official dealer of smart in the Malaysian market.
Not long ago, CEO Tong Xiangbei, a global company of smart brands, said in an interview with the media: "in the era of fuel cars, smart has spread to 46 countries and regions; after the brand is fully renovated, we will 'return' to reach more markets as soon as possible." In terms of product planning, officials say that between 2022 and 2024, the smart brand will launch a new pure electric model every year, while each product will enter a new market segment, with the third model after the brand rejuvenation being warmed up next year.
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