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August 19, 2016 14:20 CET
China's BAIC Motor Group won approval from partner Daimler to develop vehicles using an old Mercedes-Benz E-class platform, according to a media report.

The first vehicle, a midsize sedan, will hit the domestic market in 2018, reported Internet Info Agency, a Beijing-based website that covers the domestic auto industry.

BAIC will also launch SUV and multipurpose vehicle models developed on the platform.

The vehicles will be fitted with powertrains that Daimler builds at its passenger vehicle joint venture with BAIC in Beijing.

The powertrains include a 1.8-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, according to Internet Info Agency.

The sedans and SUVs to be built on the old Mercedes-Benz platform will be marketed under BAIC's Senova brand while the MPV will carry the company's Weiwang brand.

BAIC, which is based in Beijing, produces passenger vehicles under BAIC and Senova brands as well as microvans under the Weiwang marque.

In the first seven months of the year, BAIC sold approximately 232,000 light vehicles, an increase of 43 percent from the same period last year.

BAIC, a state-owned company, operates passenger vehicle and truck joint ventures with Daimler in Beijing as well as a commercial van partnership in the east China province of Fujian.

BAIC is not the first Chinese automaker to tap a partner's technology for vehicle development.

FAW Group Corp. has rolled out a series of passenger vehicles using the previous generation of the Mazda6 platform. Dongfeng Motor Corp. has developed a flagship sedan, the Aeolus A9, from the Citroen C5's platform.

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