A Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG seen trough the window from my Beijing-Jeep. The lucky owner must be a great fan of the American police, even including the 911 emergency number which for sure doesn’t work in China. Handwriting reads: ‘to punish and enslave’…
The new Maybach 62S debuted at the Chengdu Auto Show in Sichuan province. The ‘normal’ Maybach 62 debuted earlier at the Beijing Auto Show. China is clearly an imported market for Maybach and this is confirmed by one number: a German employee from Benz-China told me Maybach sold 14 cars at the Beijing Auto Show, most of ‘m the 62. The even more exclusive ‘S’, for ‘sport’ indeed, is available from now for a 10.7 million yuan, 1.6 million USD.
The Benz A and B-class will soon be replaced so Benz sold the rights to the B-class to Beijing Auto and starts to sell the imported A-class from October. There is no other place like China to dump some old stock! Strangely, the horrible R-class is selling in great numbers in China as well meaning Benz problably made the right decision. Price will start around a hefty 230.000 yuan.
International media reports on a deal between Daimler and BYD to make electric cars. Strangely, Chinese media reports nothing yet. It is 10:13 AM now in Beijing and all woke up. It might have to do more with the fact that parties still need government permission to start with their plans.
That permission is essential, as proved by the Hummer-misery in Januari. But in this case it is about electric cars which are, so most believe, not as bead for the bears and the bees as a Hummer. Permission therefore, is unlikely to be denied.
More on the Daimler-BYD deal in this excellent article from Wall Street journal:
“BEIJING—Germany’s Daimler AG and China’s BYD Co. set up a 50-50 joint venture Thursday to develop an all-electric car for the Chinese market, saying they believe China has the potential to be among the world’s largest markets for zero-emission vehicles.
Daimler, owner of luxury-car brand Mercedes-Benz, and BYD, one of China’s leading battery and auto makers, are expected to invest a total of 600 million yuan ($87.9 million) in the joint venture, Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. The money is to be used as registered capital for the joint venture in the southern industrial city of Shenzhen.
It loox actually much ‘newer’ when one sees face to face, yesterday’s official pictures didn’t do it right. The grille is far bigger and impressive compared to the old car and the leds make it more aggressive. Benz hopes to sell a few of ‘m to the new rich in China before it kills the brand. But Benz doesn’t have too much faith in it, the new Maybach looked a bit sad in a small cabin in a corner of the stand, and no one mentioned the car during the Benz press conference.
Maybach will bring the ‘new’ 62 to the Beijing Auto Show that starts tomorrow. Looking at the quality these pictures leaked from a brochure, got you… Pics show the 62 on several locations around Beijing, photoshopped I guess but the car is real. Changes: a new front with a bigger blingbling grille and leds under the bumper.
The Beijing Auto Show 2010 starts this Friday so the Supercars move in. Today saw the arrival of a very red, China will like, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG carried by a red FAW truck. Nice combo it is, FAW (First Auto Works) is most famous by it’s joint ventures with Audi and Volkswagen.
According to a report on one of China’s largest automotive websites, auto.sina.com, BYD has expressed interest to acquire the Maybach-brand from Mercedes Benz as the Germans will pull the plug in one or two years.
An unmaned BYD official told Sina.com that BYD was very interested in Maybach and would “launch the acquisition” as soon as Benz makes the final decision to quit.
Earlier this month MB and BYD announced a partnership to produce electric vehicles for the Chinese market, so the two are friends already. Still I don’t think Benz will ever consider to sell the Maybach-brand to anyone, let alone to a batterymaker turned carmaker from China.
Hard to say how serious BYD really is, but it is good to see the brand keeps dreaming…