Baidu forms strategic partnership with Geely to enter EV market
Baidu, Inc., China’s leading search engine and its answer to Google (which is blocked in China), announced plans to establish a company to produce intelligent electric vehicles (EV). It has entered into a strategic partnership with Chinese auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles for the new venture. Geely, which holds the distinction of being the best-selling Chinese automobile brand in the past years under the Volvo and Geely brands, will contribute its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing.
In 2020, Geely Auto celebrated its 10 millionth vehicle sold, becoming the first Chinese brand to reach that historic milestone. Globally, Geely Auto has accelerated its expansion and improved its brand image and reputation. A total of 72,700 vehicles were exported in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 25.3%.
Geely Auto and Lynk & Co. brands sales in 2020 reached 1,320,217 units, beating its 2020 revised annual target. In spite of a market shutdown in China’s automotive market during the first quarter of 2020 due to the Covid-19 epidemic, both Geely Auto and Lynk & Co brands have seen their market share grow, with Geely Auto retaining its position as the best-selling Chinese brand for four consecutive years.
In 2021, Geely Auto will focus on adjusting its product strategy, introducing new models and setting an annual target of 1.53 million units, a 16% increase from 2020.
“At Baidu, we have long believed in the future of intelligent driving and have over the past decade invested heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) to build a portfolio of world-class self-driving services. China has become the world’s largest market for EVs, and we are seeing EV consumers demanding next generation vehicles to be more intelligent.” said Robin Li, Co-founder and CEO of Baidu.
“As a top Chinese automaker with global reach, Geely has the unique experience and resources to design, produce and market energy-efficient, reliable and safe automobiles in large scale. We believe that by combining Baidu’s expertise in smart transportation, connected vehicles and autonomous driving with Geely’s expertise as a leading automobile and EV manufacturer, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles.”