Mercedes-Benz plans to increasingly rely on Chinese suppliers18. April 2019
The parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG, will increasingly rely on Chinese suppliers in the future and would like to intensify their cooperation. “The Chinese suppliers have a technological lead in the field of electric vehicles and connected driving compared to their competitors from the US and Europe,” says Wilko Stark, Head of Purchasing and Supplier at Mercedes-Benz. “The shift to electric vehicles and connected mobility has made us more dependent on external companies for battery cells and connectivity.” At a press conference in Stuttgart, which dealt with the group’s purchasing strategy, he said: “We will think about cooperation and joint ventures in certain areas. The general importance of alliances and development and purchasing partnerships is becoming increasingly important “.
In research and development, Mercedes-Benz will focus more on the leadership role of suppliers and also optimize internal processes to save costs. China is ahead of the US in many areas of digitalization and innovation in the sector, therefore the group will look for more suppliers in China. In the opinion of Stark, China’s role in the automotive sector will become dramatically more important in light of the increasing number of Chinese companies that supply Mercedes-Benz.
The Stuttgart-based manufacturer of luxury vehicles sold around 674,000 vehicles in China last year, a market that sets new standards in the field of electromobility and digital services. This is also one of the reasons why Chinese suppliers are ahead of their US and European competitors. Mercedes-Benz thus has no choice but to work together with companies such as Alibaba and Tencent in order to keep pace as a car manufacturer in the field of digitalization, said Stark at the press conference.
The Daimler Group is also looking for partners in China in the field of battery cells. In particular, new developments such as lighter batteries with a higher energy density are of interest to the company. Shorter charging times, longer range and lighter weight, as well as a lower price due to high volumes in production and purchasing, would allow Mercedes to offer electric vehicles at comparable costs as internal-combustion engine models. The aim is to work with suppliers who produce components for both conventional and electric vehicles. This will simplify the transition for Mercedes-Benz between these two drive technologies. Your company wants to export products to China as a supplier? Components and electronic components in China must pass the China Compulsory Certification (CCC). We advise you on the application and during the approval process.
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