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Geely to build robotaxis for Waymo

Zhejiang Geely Holding will build a fleet of electric autonomous taxis for Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, the automaker said on Wednesday. Geely will supply new minivans developed under its Zeekr luxury electric vehicle brand for the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing service. The vehicles will be designed at a Geely facility in Sweden, and will later be equipped with Waymo's self-driving platform. The vehicles could be assembled in the U.S. or China, with deliveries slated to begin within the next several years.
One of China's top private-sector automakers, Geely seeks to gain access to cutting-edge self-driving technology through the tie-up. It hopes to eventually retail Zeekr vehicles in the U.S. as well. With groupwide sales of about 2.1 million new vehicles in 2020, Geely sits at the forefront of China's push to bolster its automotive sector. The company has grown rapidly since acquiring Volvo Cars from Ford Motor in 2010. Geely is also a key shareholder in Daimler and has set up a 50-50 joint venture with it overseeing the German automaker's Smart compact car brand.
The Chinese automaker has been especially active of late. In August, Geely signed a memorandum of understanding with Renault for collaboration in China and South Korea. It operates an EV joint venture with Chinese technology group Baidu, and is setting up a new 50-50 venture with Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, with a view to contract manufacturing EVs.

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