Daimler has injected $1.8-billion to expand production for the EQ-branded electric vehicle in China.

In collaboration with Beijing Benz Automotive Corp (BBAC), the brands will modify and launch a new production facility, transferring an existing BAIC production plant in Beijing. Both already oversee a separate production hub, also in Beijing.

“With over a decade of remarkable achievements, BBAC stands as evidence of the strong collaboration between BAIC and Daimler,” said Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group. “As a model of Sino-German cooperation, BBAC has set successive benchmarks in terms of technology and quality standards. Going forward, both partners will continue to support BBAC as it provides additional, attractive products, contributing to the development of the Chinese automotive industry.”

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The expansion will be used to accelerate the production of batteries for Mercedes’ EQ, which is scheduled to go to market by 2019.

China is a strategic Daimler location, being its larger market with approximately 430,000 vehicles produced by BBAC in 2017, contributing to 70 percent of local sales of its C, E, GLA, and GLC models. Other initiatives include Beijing-based research and development location, which leverages Tsinghua University talent and more than 800 engineers and designers to study battery safety and fast-charging technologies.

“Local production is a strong pillar of our sustainable development in China. By deepening our cooperation with our local partner BAIC, BBAC will continue playing a key role for Mercedes-Benz in China,” said Hubertus Troska, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. “This production capacity expansion for BBAC will allow us to meet the expected growing demand for premium passenger cars in China, including for electric vehicles.”