China – The deal between the two companies will see further localisation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars beyond the GLA-Class at the Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC) joint venture. The €1 billion ($1.2 billion) pledge is part of a €4 billion total that will be invested in BBAC by 2015.
Production capacity for the C-Class, the E-Class and the GLK-Class will be more than doubled to over 200,000 units per annum in 2015. Using BBAC’s new compact car site, the GLA-Class will go into production as Mercedes-Benz’s first such locally made model early next year. The new long-wheelbase version of the C-Class began rolling off the production lines last July.
“Continuous investment in localisation and a close co-operation network with strong partners has [been] and will always be key elements of our strategy in China,” commented Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management at Daimler with responsibility for China.
Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group and its BAIC Motor car division, added: “The agreement shows that BBAC has reached new heights in terms of R&D, manufacturing and management capabilities.”