Baidu plans to build EVs, have Geely assemble them

Chinese internet search engine provider Baidu is reportedly planning to form a company to build smart electric vehicles (EVs), and will be working together with Geely, which will assemble the vehicles at its plants.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the venture will see Geely revamping some ot its existing car manufacturing facilities to make the vehicles, which will feature in-car software input from Baidu and engineering know-how from Geely.

Both parties are apparently in talks to use Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) EV-focused platform architecture for the planned product development. The sources added that Baidu will have a majority stake and absolute voting power in the new company. Both companies declined to comment about the matter.

The wire service had reported last month that Baidu, which has been developing autonomous driving technology and internet connectivity infrastructure, was contemplating making its own EVs and had held talks with Geely, Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) and China FAW Group’s Hongqi brand on a possible venture.

It’s not the first time Baidu has signaled its automotive aspirations. In 2018, it signed an agreement with Geely-owned Volvo to develop fully-autonomous electric vehicles for the Chinese market, with the plan being for both to pool resources and prepare for mass production of these self-driving EVs. It has also previously outlined its intentions to delve into the development of autonomous driving.

Baidu isn’t the only tech player to head in that direction. Rival tech company Alibaba has formed an EV joint venture with the country’s biggest automaker, SAIC Motor Corp, and mobility services provider Didi Chuxing is also doing the same with carmaker BYD, although it is making EVs designed for ride hailing services.

The post Baidu plans to build EVs, have Geely assemble them appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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