The Chinese auto manufacturers copied European designs for the most part of the last decade, but the economic boom has left these manufacturers with deep pockets, with which they're snapping up more established brands left and right. Geely, makers of Chinese econo-boxes with designs ripped off from Mercedes Benz, has recently sparked up news after its owner, Li Shufu, acquired the majority shares of the German luxury marque. The 10 percent stake in Diamler, worth an estimated $9 Billion, sparked up fears of German technological prowess falling into Chinese hands. This comes after much speculation of Geely buying out Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles – a rumour that still persists and one that might actually turn to reality soon enough.
Currently, Geely owns Swedish Volvo, British LEVC, majority shares of British Lotus and Malaysian Proton and automotive startup Terrafugia. With Diamler-Mercedes-Maybach under its wing, Geely is all set to become an automotive giant.