FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler said on Thursday it would deepen its cooperation with China's BAIC Group <1958.HK> in the area of new energy vehicles, even as rival Geely seeks to gain access to the German carmakers' electric vehicle technologies.
Daimler said it has bought a 3.93 percent stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., a subsidiary of BAIC Group.
Hubertus Troska, Daimler's board member responsible for China said: "The investment in BJEV marks yet another milestone in the strong cooperation between Daimler and BAIC for New Energy Vehicles in China, and it underlines our commitment to the further development of electric mobility."
In a statement, Xu Heyi, Chairman of BAIC Group, said: "BAIC Group and Daimler have long maintained a deep, strategic partnership. New Energy Vehicles are one of BAIC Group's core business areas, and Daimler's investment in BJEV further expands our partnership, taking the cooperation between BAIC and Daimler into an entirely new stage of development."
Geely chairman Li Shufu last month revealed he had built up an almost 10 percent stake in Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, hoping to access electric and self-driving cars technology as a way to respond to new competitors such as Uber.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Douglas Busvine)