BAIC is said to be slowly amassing shares, and could become the second Chinese automaker to hold a significant stake in Daimler.
- shares

BAIC, owner of the Foton brand, is reportedly buying shares on the open market with a view of building a stake of between 4% and 5% in Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz.

Multiple sources have informed Reuters the BAIC head office indicated its intent to Daimler earlier this year.

The Beijing-based automaker has also spoken to local government officials about its plans. Based on current prices, BAIC would need to spend around €3 billion ($4.8 billion) to acquire a 5% holding in the German automaker.

BAIC currently owns 51% of BAIC Benz, the joint venture company which produces Mercedes-Benz vehicles in China. The company also owns Foton, which specialises in utes, vans and trucks.

In February 2018, Li Shufu, chairman of Geely, caught the automotive world by surprise when he bought a nearly 10% stake in Daimler, making the Chinese automaker the company's single largest shared holder.

Geely, which wholly owns Volvo, had no formal relationship with Daimler before this.

It has since gone on to team up with Daimler on a China-only car sharing service.

A month ago it purchased half of Smart and will relocate all of the brand's production to China from 2022.