Published March 27, 2012
By Bertel Schmitt
Real Chinese brands are losing market share to joint ventures. The Chinese government wants to keep up appearances, and strongly suggests to joint ventures with foreigners that they should start a separate “Chinese” brand. Latest to say “hao” (yes, ok, jawohl) is Daimler. Its joint venture with BYD to make electric cars in China will dispense with making electric Mercedes first and will instead immediately head to second base and launch a Chinese brand.
BYD-Daimler will sell its e-mobiles under the "Denza" name, says Carnewschina. Chinese name and logo are still work in progress, Chinese media shows three logos and two Chinese names: Tengshi or Dingcheng. I’d say Denza is a mishmash of “Benz” (as the Chinese call a Mercedes) with a dash of Daimler. The logos are horrible, look at them at Carnewschina if you dare.
The first car will be standard SOP of these allegedly “Chinese” brands. Foreigners usually foist old designs and toolings on these imitation indigenous brands. Daimler won’t break that custom. According to Carnewschina, Denza’s first car will be an EV based on the old Mercedes-Benz B-class, codenamed "Tiger." Its electric powertrain will come from the BYD e6. The Tiger is expected to show its stripes at the Beijing Auto Show in late April.