Daimler may make electric cars in China to boost sales

Tue Dec 6, 2016 4:08am EST
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By Edward Taylor and Ilona Wissenbach

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE: Quote) may make batteries and Mercedes-Benz electric cars in China as part of a drive to manufacture more products locally and to try to boost sales, according to board member Hubertus Troska.

Sales of the German company's luxury cars in China have grown 28 percent so far this year after Mercedes spruced up its designs to give its cars a more sporty and upmarket feel, gaining traction with drivers in the world's largest car market.

"I am confident that Mercedes in China will show a decent performance next year," Troska, Daimler's board member responsible for Greater China, told reporters.

Sales in 2016 have been better than expected, reaching 429,000 cars, he said, adding demand for locally manufactured cars had helped boost registrations.

"Sales of the C-Class in the past year were phenomenal and we cannot build enough GLCs," he said, adding the new E-Class would likely add momentum into 2017.

To keep sales going, Mercedes is considering local production of electric cars and batteries.

Building a battery factory in China is "among the options in the room," Troska said, adding no decision had been made.

Troska declined to say whether Mercedes had set a date to start production of its EQ electric car in China.   Continued...

Daimler AG sign is pictured at the IAA truck show in Hanover, Germany, September 22, 2016.  REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo