A further Daimler-Geely partnership could be on the cards, following Zhejiang Geely Holding’s purchase of a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG. The German automaker intially was less than keen on the idea, having turned down an earlier offer from Geely to take up a 5% stake via discounted share placement for concerns of diluting existing Daimler stocks.

Now though, it appears that Mercedes-Benz and Geely could jointly develop a platform for electric vehicles, according to Manager Magazin. In a report, it is said Geely is keen to develop a new electric vehicle architecture which it plans to offer to other automakers, and is considering joint production of battery cells with Daimler as well.

The rumoured joint effort could also see Daimler supply Geely-owned Volvo with engines and other components, the German publication reported. As part of this suggested supply deal, Daimler would need to purchase a small stake in Volvo Cars, it added. “This is pure speculation which we will not comment on,” a Daimler spokesman told Reuters, while Volvo declined to comment.

Any industrial joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely will be less than straightforward, due to the former’s existing partnerships with Chinese manufacturers BAIC and BYD, both competitors to Geely. Daimler had earlier announced plans to manufacture EVs with BAIC, where both companies might invest more than 11.9 billion yuan (RM7.35 billion) for a new plant in China.

Though Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has welcomed Geely chairman Li Shufu as a new shareholder, any industrial partnership will depend on whether or not current partner BAIC agrees.