Mercedes-Benz (China) Investment Co., Ltd. and brilliance BMW Co., Ltd. announced the signing of a cooperation agreement to set up a joint venture in China at a share ratio of 50:50 to operate a supercharging network in the Chinese market. work together to meet the growing demand for luxury charging services from Chinese customers. At present, the establishment and operation of the joint venture are subject to the approval of relevant regulators.
It is understood that by the end of 2026, the joint venture plans to build at least 1000 advanced technology super charging stations and about 7000 supercharging piles in China. The first batch of charging stations are scheduled to start operation in China's key new energy vehicle cities from 2024, and the subsequent construction of charging stations will also cover other cities and regions of the country.
It is worth mentioning that the joint venture's charging network will be open to the public. According to the plan, customers of Mercedes-Benz and BMW will enjoy exclusive premium services such as plug-and-play charging, online booking and other seamless digital charging experiences. In addition, the joint venture plans to purchase renewable energy electricity as conditions permit to provide Chinese customers with a sustainable luxury charging experience.
Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been laying out charging networks for years. By the end of November, Mercedes-Benz public charging service had been connected to more than 500000 public charging piles across the country, covering more than 340 cities and the "ten vertical and ten horizontal rings" highway fast charging network; by the end of October, BMW's BMW authorized dealers in China had been equipped with charging facilities, while BMW public charging network had access to more than 580000 charging piles across the country. This year, the BMW supercharging station project has been officially launched, with high-power charging piles supporting up to 600kW charging power.
Mercedes-Benz and BMW are both luxury brands and first-tier luxury brands, and the Chinese market is the world's largest single market. In the first three quarters, BMW delivered 1.8366 million new cars to customers worldwide, up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier. Of this total, BMW Group delivered 602900 new cars in the Chinese market, an increase of 1.7 per cent over the same period last year. Mercedes-Benz delivered 1.5298 million vehicles, up 2.0% from a year earlier, of which 570600 were delivered in the Chinese market, the same as in the same period last year.
Although Mercedes-Benz and BMW occupy a large market share in the luxury market, with the rise of independent brands with the help of new energy vehicle market development dividends, they are far ahead in electrified, intelligent and other configurations, and move consumers through prices, constantly eroding the market share of luxury brands, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Of course, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have also announced that they have invested heavily in electric vehicles, but so far there has been little effect. Whether it is BMW i3 or Mercedes-Benz EQC, these electric cars do not perform well in electrification and intelligence, and they are more likely to "sell bids".
Obviously, in the new track of new energy vehicles, BMW and this market have changed from the leader of the original fuel vehicle market to the pursuer of the new track. Under the weakening brand effect, it is difficult to show the advantages of its luxury cars. Of course, for BMW and Mercedes-Benz, they still have the opportunity to take the lead in the electric and intelligent era of automobiles. After all, their accumulated experience in the automotive field is unmatched by other automobile companies, but at the moment when the new energy vehicle market is becoming more and more popular, whether the traditional luxury brand can successfully achieve its strategic goal of electrified transformation remains to be verified by the market.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz have formed a joint venture to operate a supercharging network in the Chinese market. In the face of such a fierce domestic competition in the new energy market, the two traditional luxury brands began to change, watching the continuous cooperation between other brands, naturally do not want to miss this big cake.
As another member of the BBA camp, some netizens said "without Audi to play". In fact, Audi is not alone. The Volkswagen Group behind it established Kaimes New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. as early as 2019 as a joint venture with China FAW, Jiangqi Group and Wanbang Digital Energy Co., Ltd., not only started earlier, but also one of the earliest companies in the industry to launch a 480kW ultra-fast charging solution.
For BMW-Mercedes-Benz cooperation, industry insiders close to Audi China said that Audi-branded charging stations will also have new actions next year, with the goal of building 600 charging piles by the end of this year. "the construction of Audi-branded charging stations is more intended to achieve value-added service and experience."
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