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Daimler to Build Truck Engine Plant in China via Commercial Vehicle Joint Venture
- Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive (BFDA) to invest approximately €135 million
- Construction to begin in first half of 2013
- Production capacity of up to 45,000 engines per year over the long term
Beijing / Stuttgart – With joint truck production now under way, Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd. (BFDA) is stepping up the pace even more. The joint venture of Daimler AG and the Chinese truck manufacturer Foton will begin building a new engine plant next to its headquarters in Beijing’s Huairou district by the first half of 2013. It will invest more than RMB 1 billion (around €135 million).
“This investment once again demonstrates that we are putting our ‘Global Excellence’ strategy into practice and that our involvement in China is of a sustained, long-term nature,” says Andreas Renschler, the Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. “As is the case in all of the new growth markets, we are consistently applying our principle of operating as globally as possible on the one hand and as locally as necessary on the other.”
Once the new plant is finished in 2014, it will produce type OM 457 engines for the joint venture’s trucks that are produced under the Auman brand. The diesel engine is currently being used in Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles in Europe and Latin America, and is already undergoing successful test runs in trucks made by the joint venture. Whereas up to 40 percent of the engine components will be produced in China when the new plant begins engine manufacturing operations, the localization rate is scheduled to be raised to more than 65 percent in the medium and long terms. BFDA is already working hard to select suppliers. “This process has made very satisfactory progress. We have already found renowned suppliers for the key components. These suppliers were selected after extensive tests which showed that they meet our high standards with regard to quality and business ethics,” reports Stefan Albrecht, Executive Vice President of BFDA.
More choices for customers
The new engine plant will cover an area of around 30,000 square meters in close proximity to the Auman trucks production site in Beijing’s Huairou district. Once ramped up, it will add more than 500 new employees to the workforce. Production capacity at the plant will be designed for up to 45,000 engines per year. As soon as the Chinese emissions standard China IV (which corresponds to Euro IV) is introduced as planned next year, customers will be able to order the Auman truck with either a conventional engine or the OM 457. Thanks to its technological expertise in diesel engines and exhaust systems, Daimler ensures that the joint venture will meet future emissions regulations. Until the new plant is completed, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim will deliver the engines completely built up to China.