Baidu and Geely shack up to build electric cars in China
"China's Google" won't only develop software for vehicles, it will also co-build actual cars.
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Big news from China's answer to
came on Sunday as
announced it signed a strategic partnership with Geely, one of the largest Chinese automakers. It also happens to own
. The partnership will see the internet platform work with the automaker to build future electric vehicles in the country.
It sounds like Baidu will be mighty involved in this venture. Everything from the industrial supply chain, to vehicle design and manufacturing, to sales and service are all part of the company's plans. The Chinese search engine will provide the "intelligent driving capabilities," according to the announcement. What exactly the "intelligent" capabilities are, we don't know yet. Baidu created its Apollo self-driving car division in the past to research and develop autonomous car technology, however. Perhaps the company sees this opportunity as a way to fold its learnings into hardware.
While the partnership likely won't affect much of anything in the US, at least for now, there's the possibility Volvo ties into this somehow. Geely scored a global luxury brand when it plucked Volvo years ago, and Volvo certainly does have reach in North America. And if you're still not understanding the gravity of this deal, this would be like Google and
partnering to build a Google Car of sorts. Actually, that sort of ordeal might be playing out as we speak with
as Hyundai's rumored to build the long-rumored Apple Car later this year.
Say hello to Geometry A, the first EV from Geely's new brand