Daimler Truck AG and Foton are to start joint production of Mercedes-Benz trucks in China for China as part of a €485 million investment.
The pair jointly announced that both partners will produce and distribute Mercedes-Benz trucks for what it calls “an advanced market segment” in China. Based on Daimler Trucks’ global platform strategy, the companies’ joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA) will localize new heavy-duty models “Made in China for China”, fully adapted to Chinese customers’ requirements.
The vehicles will get Daimler Trucks technology, the two companies said. Start of production of the heavy-duty models is scheduled in two years from a new truck plant, pictured, in Huairou (Beijing) owned by BFDA. The investment is for the acquisition of the plant and the set-up of new infrastructure and production lines.
At the same time Daimler Truck will continue to import and sell other models of its Mercedes-Benz portfolio both through the existing dealer network and direct wholesale to answer the customers need for top-of-the-line trucks for special applications – for example concrete pumps for China’s rapidly growing construction sector, said Daimler.
The company added that the new heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks for China will capitalize on Daimler Trucks’ platform strategy and will be powered by an engine from Daimler Trucks global powertrain unit. The new Mercedes-Benz trucks will be fully adapted to the specific requirements of varied Chinese customers.
Daimler Trucks and Foton said they plan fully-fledged local production to start operation in two years from now, supported by a local supplier base, which will be further strengthened over the coming years. Details on the product specifics and its market introduction will be announced later, the pair added.
“China, the world’s largest truck market, is of utmost importance to us and has become one of our important markets for future growth. To make full use of this potential, we made the decision to locally produce Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty tractors in China for China,” said Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck AG. “We’re convinced what we’re announcing today is the right strategic move for the right market at exactly the right point in time.”
BFDA is a 50:50 joint venture between Daimler Truck AG and China’s Foton Motor.