Nio and Mercedes allegedly talk about possible tech-alliance
According to the news agency Reuters, Nio and Mercedes-Benz have sat at the negotiation table. The German carmaker could invest in the Chinese start-up in return for the latter’s research and development capabilities. People familiar with the matter told journalists that details on the technology and the financial investment were still up for discussion.
Nevertheless, it is unlikely that such a cooperation will actually take place. Mercedes-Benz’s R&D and strategy teams are concerned that a technology cooperation could damage the brand image and lead to distortions with the Group’s Chinese shareholders, Reuters reports.
When contacted by Reuters, both companies denied that there was no possible collaboration on the table. But according to Mercedes, its boss “Ola Kaellenius is in an ongoing regular dialogue with various industry leaders and peers, including [Nio CEO] William Li.”
So it remains to be seen what will come of the talks, possibly taking place. But it would follow the narrative of other Western automakers, which recently struck deals with Chinese companies.
At the end of July, the VW brand concluded a technological framework agreement for China on a long-term cooperation with Xpeng and acquired a stake in the Chinese EV start-up. In addition, according to Chinese media, Volkswagen is said to be negotiating another EV cooperation in China with Leapmotor.
In both cases, Volkswagen is looking to further advance its local electrification strategy and step up the pace of development. Something that Mercedes-Benz could also be looking into.