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A joint EV venture is in the works

Panasonic’s New Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Factory in China.

Panasonic and Beijing Automotive Group are in talks to expand their collaboration to smart cars and self-driving vehicles.

The Chinese state-owned automaker, also known as BAIC Group, and the Japanese electronics group agreed to set up a joint venture to build key components for electric vehicles.

The move will give BAIC better access to the latest technology and Panasonic a wider avenue to the world’s largest automobile market.

“Our tie-up with Panasonic has been going smoothly, and we hope to move it faster,” Chairman Xu Heyi said to Nikkei Asian Review. Xu also said more joint ventures could be on the way.

At present, BAIC manufactures luxury cars in a joint venture with Daimler, and the German group also has a stake in a BAIC electric vehicle subsidiary.

Xu said the recent large purchase of Daimler shares by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a Chinese private-sector carmaker, will not affect his company’s business with Daimler.

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