will participate in the vehicle development and production of BAIC-affiliated NEV companies, and provide power battery products and services.

(Image credit: CATL)

BAIC Group, which has lagged behind many of its local counterparts in the transition to electrification, appears to be stepping up its efforts.

CATL and BAIC signed a strategic cooperation agreement on March 13, in which they plan to jointly develop power battery products and tap into the new energy vehicle (NEV) market, according to a press release from the power battery giant yesterday.

CATL will participate in the vehicle development and production of BAIC-affiliated NEV companies and provide power battery products and services, according to the press release.

The two sides will build a close strategic partnership and cooperate fully in power batteries, the release said.

BAIC's efforts in the NEV market are mainly carried out by its subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle Co Ltd (BJEV), but its performance has been lukewarm.

BJEV sold 50,179 units for the full year 2022, up 92.06 percent from 26,127 units in 2021, but lags behind most Chinese electric vehicle startups, according to data released by its parent company BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co.

In the first two months of this year, BJEV sales were 4,812 units, up 42.16 percent from 3,385 units in the same period last year.

In August 2022, Bloomberg reported that smartphone giant Xiaomi was in talks with BAIC Group to collaborate on the production of electric vehicles, which could see vehicles built by BAIC BluePark and co-branded with .

BAIC Group later told local media that the company had "not heard of this."

That comes after BAIC BluePark announced on July 15 that it plans to raise up to 8 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) in additional shares to no more than 35 specific targets.

The stock offering is intended to increase the company's capital strength, as it continues to increase the size of its business and invest in product development amid the rapid growth of China's NEV industry, BAIC BluePark said at the time.

BAIC BluePark's share price has been weak over the past year and is currently down about 40 percent from its high last June.

($1 = RMB 6.8715)

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