Daimler Truck AG, the commercial vehicle unit of German automaker Daimler, announced on Wednesday that the company and its Chinese partner, Beijing-based Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd will produce and distribute Mercedes-Benz tractors in China.
The production of the heavy-duty tractor models, equipped with top technology and aimed at an advanced market segment, is scheduled in two years' time in a new truck plant in Huairou, Beijing, owned by a joint venture between Daimler and Beiqi Foton, Daimler Truck said in a statement.
The joint venture will invest more than 3.8 billion yuan (US$580 million) for the acquisition of the plant, as well as the set-up of new infrastructure and production lines, the German truck maker said.
"China, the world's largest truck market, is of utmost importance to us and has become one of our important markets for future growth," Martin Daum, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, said in the statement, describing Wednesday's announcement as "the right strategic move for the right market at exactly the right point in time."
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China, said that the Chinese truck market is undergoing a transformation and the growing e-commerce and logistics industry offer great opportunities.
"Today not only marks a big milestone in Daimler's localization strategy but also an excellent example of Sino-German cooperation," Troska said.
The joint venture between two companies, Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co Ltd was officially inaugurated in 2012. Gong Yueqiong, CEO of Beiqi Foton Motor, said the new project is an evolution and upgrade of their cooperation and the right strategic move of further developing Chinese market.
According to estimates from Daimler, more than half of the trucks sold globally in 2020 will be registered in China.