Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding) is going to launch its second mobility service brand following Cao Cao.
Dubbed "StaRides", the premium car-focused platform is jointly developed with German automaker Daimler, and is to be put into operation at the end of 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province first, according to Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding.
Designed to offer passengers more upscale mobility services, the soon-to-be-launched platform will initially use such Mercedes-Benz-branded vehicles as the S-Class, the E-Class and the V-Class, and afterwards introduce Mercedes-Maybach models and Geely’s premium BEV models, according to a local media.
In October 2018, the Chinese and German automotive groups announced the formation of a 50-50 globally focused joint venture to own, operate and further develop Smart-branded cars as a leader in premium-electrified vehicles.
Under the joint venture agreement, a new generation of Smart electric models would be assembled at a new purpose-built electric car factory in China with global sales due to begin in 2022.
The name of the joint venture-- Weixing Technology Co.,Ltd—was unveiled in May 2019. Involving a registered capital of RMB1.7 billion, the joint venture is 50-50 owned by Geely Technology Group, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, and Daimler Mobility Services GmbH.
Both Geely and Daimler are pushing ahead with their transformation from a pure automaker to a mobility service provider.
Geely tapped the mobility service domain as early as May 2015 by strategically investing in the ride-hailing brand Cao Cao, which was granted the license in February 2017 that permitted it to legally operate ride-hailing business. It was also the first-ever issuance of such license in China. The platform has now extended its reach into 50 cities across China after being upgraded into “Cao Cao Mobility” in this year’s February.
Daimler introduced the car2go program in the city of Chongqing in Southwest China in early 2016, and later expanded locations to include cities like Shenzhen, in South China's Guangdong province, and Chengdu, in Southwest China's Sichuan province. Yet somehow, the program has been pulled out of China in June 2019 (photo sources: Geely Holding's WeChat account).
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