Mercedes-Benz trucks: Daimler Truck builds trucks in China

Status: 09/23/2022 3:00 p.m

Daimler Truck builds Mercedes-Benz trucks in China for China for the first time. The commercial vehicle division wants to position itself in the growing market – despite political uncertainties.

By Bianca von der Au,

Daimler Truck today gave the go-ahead for the local production of Actros semitrailer tractors. Production takes place in a joint venture with the Chinese manufacturer Foton Motor in Huairou north of Beijing. According to the company, the Actros is the flagship of Mercedes-Benz long-distance trucks and has only been exported to China in small numbers so far, which was correspondingly more expensive than local production. With local production, Daimler Truck hopes to be able to offer the trucks more cheaply and thus increase sales, a company spokesman said

China is the world’s largest truck market

“China is the largest market for heavy trucks in the world and offers significant growth potential,” emphasizes Karl Deppen, Head of Asia and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Trucks. They are the first Mercedes trucks to be “made in China for China”. From the point of view of China expert Doris Fischer, an international group like Daimler Truck would harm itself if it were not present on the important Chinese market. The holder of the chair for China Business and Economics at the University of Würzburg said opposite tagesschau.dethat due to the huge distances in China, the need for trucks for transport is enormous. In the country, long-distance connections and motorways have been expanded and the roads have improved.

On the other hand, there is the uncertainty that such close cooperation could result in technical knowledge flowing to China, as the professor says happened with ICE technology. But from the point of view of China expert Fischer, such a joint venture also offers advantages. For example, Chinese customer requests could be served better locally, and in the best-case scenario, both partners would benefit from each other.

Federal government reviews China policy

Even if the federal government wants to review its China policy in view of the close trade relations, according to the China expert Fischer, it remains a company decision how to position itself in the Chinese market. With a view to the supply chain problems caused by the pandemic, local production could even offer advantages. The technical regulations, which are different in the large Chinese market than in the EU, can also be better implemented locally, according to automotive expert Guido Reinking from the online trade magazine “Mobility of Tomorrow”.

Daimler Truck – at that time still a subsidiary of the car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz – started its business operations in China ten years ago. The joint venture between Daimler Truck Holding AG and Foton Motor operates under the name Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive, or BFDA for short. In the joint venture founded in 2012, Daimler Truck and Foton have so far jointly built trucks of the Foton Auman brand.

Two product lines of Mercedes-Benz Actros semitrailer tractors will be manufactured at the new production site in Beijing. The locally produced Mercedes-Benz Actros and Actros C are expected to be delivered to customers in China in November this year. According to the group, these are exclusively diesel-powered and no electric vehicles.

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