China-only service could employ an electric car fleet, but they’re battling a dominant brand called Didi Chuxing.
Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, is reportedly considering starting a 50-50 joint-venture ride-hailing service with Chinese carmaker Geely.
Sources have told Bloomberg the ride-hailing system would be for the Chinese market.
Daimler is reportedly considering using vehicles from its Denza electric car brand, which itself is a joint venture with BYD and produces EVs based on the first-generation B-Class.
Should the joint venture go ahead, the automakers face an uphill battle to gain significant market share from Didi Chuxing. Although dominant in China, the company is currently under regulatory pressure and is spending big to gain market share in other countries.
Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Geely, acquired a 9.69 per cent stake in Daimler in February this year, making him the largest single shareholder in the German automaker.
Geely currently owns Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, and LEVC, the maker of London’s black taxi cabs. It also has a controlling interest in Lotus, and a 49 per cent stake in Proton.
Daimler, like some other automakers, has already begun to diversify into mobility services, and currently operates the MyTaxi ride-hailing app, ViaVan ride-pooling service, and Car2Go short-term car hire platform.