Mercedes was late to discover China. It was not until 2005 that the German manufacturer went to Beijing and founded the joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC) with the state-owned company BAIC. In the early days, business with China played a moderate role for the headquarters in Stuttgart. “When colleagues in Stuttgart saw the Chinese country code on the display of their phones, they didn’t even bother to answer,” recalls an employee from the finance department about his early days in China.
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