Cornerstone Laid for Production of Mercedes-Benz Compact Cars in China
Ulrich Walker, Chairman and CEO Daimler Northeast Asia: “Together with our joint venture partner BAIC, we are forging ahead with our future-oriented projects in China. We expect local production of our new generation of compact cars to provide additional momentum to our development in this booming segment of the Chinese market.”
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler AG board member responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “Our new compacts are so popular with customers that we will add BBAC as the third pillar of our compact car production network besides the Rastatt and Kecskemét plants in the context of our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. With the localization of our new generation of compact cars, we will even further serve demand in China close to the market and to our customers. This strengthens our competitive position.”
In June 2011, Daimler and BAIC had signed a strategic framework agreement which included, besides an expansion of production capacities at BBAC, future local production of vehicles of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars for the Chinese market. Construction of a new engine plant for production of 4-cylinder gasoline engines, which was also part of the agreement, has progressed far with production slated to start next year. Also well on track are activities to establish a new R&D center, which will mainly focus on vehicle testing and adaptation as well as R&D activities with suppliers. Investment for these projects amounts to about 2 billion euros and is part of the overall investment program, according to which Daimler and its partners are investing a total of about 3 billion euros in China.
About Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC)
Local production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars began in 2006 at the 50/50 joint venture BBAC with the predecessor of the current E-Class. In spring 2008, the C-Class joined local production as the second model. Since May 2010, BBAC has been producing the current E-Class as a long-wheelbase version especially customized to meet the requirements of the Chinese market. Production of the GLK began in December 2011 as the third model line in BBAC’s Beijing plant.
Credits: Daimler AG
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