BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese carmaker Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC Group) Tuesday said it has bought a 5 percent stake in German carmaker Daimler AG in a bid to strengthen long-term bilateral strategic cooperation.
The investment shows that the two sides acknowledged the success of their long-term partnership, valued their common interests and were optimistic about the prospects of their cooperation potential, BAIC Group said in a statement.
The investment came more than a year after another Chinese carmaker Geely acquired a 9.69 percent stake in Daimler AG for 9.2 billion U.S. dollars.
"This step reinforces our alignment with, and strong support for, Daimler's management and strategy," said Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group.
The deal includes 2.48 percent of direct shareholdings and additional voting rights equalling 2.52 percent stake of Daimler, the Beijing-based carmaker said.
Xu said the partnership between BAIC and Daimler is an excellent example of Sino-German collaboration and a model for the cooperation between companies of the two countries.
Since 2005, the two have conducted wide-range and long-term strategic cooperation, BAIC said.
Their joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Company is now a leader in premium cars in China. It continued to post strong growth in the first half of 2019, with sales hitting 282,000 units. In 2018, its sales reached 485,000 units.
In 2013, Daimler invested in BAIC Motor, the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of BAIC Group, and currently owns a 9.55 percent stake.
In 2018, Beijing Benz acquired a manufacturing plant of BAIC Group in Shunyi District of Beijing. In the same year, Daimler purchased a stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd of BAIC, which went public in 2018 and was renamed BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. Daimler now owns a 3.01 percent stake in the electric car making arm.
The two companies also run Daimler's biggest overseas research and development center in Beijing.
Daimler on Tuesday said it welcomed its cooperation partner BAIC Group as a new investor.
"We are very pleased that our long-standing partner BAIC is now a long-term investor in Daimler. This step reinforces our successful partnership and is a signal of trust in the strategy and future potential of our company," said Ola Kallenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"The Chinese market is and remains a crucial pillar of our success - not only for sales but also for our product development and production," said Kallenius.