One of China's largest automakers has acquired a five per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz's parent company, Daimler.
BAIC Group has been working with Daimler since 2003, and their Chinese joint venture sold 485,000 cars in 2018. Beijing Benz, as the JV is known, is responsible for building the E-Class LWB and C-Class.
Daimler has owned 9.55 per cent of BAIC Motor, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of BAIC, since 2013. It's also represented on the board.
"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 Daimler board.
"The Chinese market is and remains a crucial pillar of our success - not only for sales, but also for our product development and production."
By acquiring a significant share in Daimler and gaining voting rights, BAIC has gone some way to levelling the power dynamic between the two companies.
The move also helps BAIC secure its partnership in the face of investment from other Chinese car companies – Zhejiang Geely Holding Group holds a 9.7 per cent stake in Daimler, making it the largest stakeholder.