With a five-year R&D investment of 10.5 billion yuan, Mercedes-Benz China’s R&D has entered a new stage of feeding back the world.

“We will give full play to (China’s) local talent advantages, accelerate local innovation, and lead more global R&D projects. At the same time, we will continue to deepen cooperation with local technology companies and contribute to technological innovation in the entire industry.” April 19, At the opening ceremony of the Mercedes-Benz Shanghai R&D Center, Oliver Löcher, Senior Executive Vice President of Mercedes-Benz (China) Investment Co., Ltd. and Head of R&D and Procurement of Mercedes-Benz China, said in Chinese .
In the past five years, Mercedes-Benz (hereinafter referred to as “Mercedes-Benz”) has invested a total of RMB 10.5 billion in R&D in China, mainly in R&D fields such as electrification and intelligence. With the heavy investment, Mercedes-Benz China R&D Network has become the group’s most comprehensive R&D team covering areas outside Germany.

Currently, the Mercedes-Benz China R&D network is mainly deployed in Beijing and Shanghai, with R&D capabilities in forward-looking design, electrification, smart cockpits, autonomous driving, and vehicle testing.

Hubertus Troska, a member of the board of directors of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and responsible for business in Greater China, said that the upgrade of the Shanghai R&D center marks the third stage of Mercedes-Benz’s research and development in China.

In 2005, Mercedes-Benz started localized R&D in China. At that time, R&D work mainly served production. In 2010, Mercedes-Benz’s R&D in China began to enter the second stage, with local R&D serving local products. In the following years, Mercedes-Benz launched a number of specialized models. A long-wheelbase model developed for China; starting in 2024, Mercedes-Benz China’s R&D branch will enter the third stage of research and development in China and feedback to the world. Navigation, voice control and other functions developed by China have begun to be promoted globally. In the future, the Mercedes-Benz China R&D Network will also participate in many important R&D projects such as the Mercedes-Benz MB.OS operating system, plug-in hybrid batteries, and autonomous driving.

“China has become one of the core driving forces for innovation in the global automotive industry.” Tang Shikai said.

With the transformation of automobiles to intelligence and electrification, Chinese automobile companies and supply chains have gained differentiated advantages in multiple segments such as batteries and software. At the same time, the involution of the automobile market has greatly accelerated the iteration of Chinese automobile products, which has also made China The automotive industry has a faster response to the market and technology.

In such an environment, many overseas car companies and supply chain companies are significantly increasing their R&D investment in China and expanding cooperation with Chinese car companies in order to make up for their shortcomings in areas such as intelligence and electric power.

In 2023, Volkswagen and Xpeng Motors have announced multiple cooperations. Recently, the two parties have reached a framework agreement on joint research and development of CEA central computing architecture; Volkswagen has established an innovation center in Hefei, and Volkswagen (China) Technology Co., Ltd. has become Volkswagen’s German headquarters The largest R&D center outside China; in early April, Volkswagen also announced that it would invest an additional 2.5 billion euros in its production and innovation center in Hefei.

In addition, overseas car companies such as Audi, Toyota, Mazda, and Ford have significantly expanded the scope of cooperation with Chinese car companies. The above-mentioned companies will use the technology platforms of Chinese car companies to create their own brand of new energy vehicle products.

A research report from Shengang Securities believes that China’s independent brands have taken advantage of the technological advantages and market scale of electric vehicle development to overtake them in a corner, and gradually have the right to speak, changing from “market-for-technology” to “technology export.”

In terms of supply chain, the business leaders of many overseas suppliers told reporters that China has obvious advantages in application scenarios, technology, and efficiency in terms of intelligence and electrification, and the products and technologies developed in China have begun to be exported to the world. The weight of enterprises’ local R&D in China is increasing day by day.

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