Daimler gets go-ahead for Chinese joint venture

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The Chinese government has given the go-ahead for a joint venture between Daimler Trucks and Foton Motor.

Daimler will gain a 50 percent stake in Foton Motor’s medium- and heavy-duty truck business and will contribute its technological expertise to the joint venture — especially in the area of diesel engines and exhaust gas systems — so that Chinese emissions limits, ranging up to the Euro V standard, can be fulfilled.

 “This marks a milestone for the joint venture between Daimler and the Chinese truck manufacturer, Foton Motor, and for the implementation of Daimler Trucks’ worldwide strategy,” said Andreas Renschler, head of Daimler Trucks and Buses.

In 2010, the Chinese market for trucks over six tons GVW had a volume of 1.2 million units. Forecasts indicate that about 1.5 million trucks over six tons GVW will be sold annually in China from now until 2020.

The company will trade under the name Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive, and  will use Foton’s truck brand Auman as a platform to grow business in China and look at cooperation opportunities outside of China.

Foton has experienced rapid growth since entering the truck business in 1998. Last year it sold nearly 105,000 units of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and nearly 66,500 units during the first half of 2011.

A second truck plant is already being ramped up, giving the Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive joint venture a total production capacity of 160,000 trucks.

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