Caterpillar Joins China Truck Joint Venture

Companies will produce heavy-duty trucks and accessories in China

China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co said Sept. 29 it plans to set up a two billion yuan (US$292.8 million) joint venture with the truck unit of Caterpillar Inc.

Jianghuai Automotive will also develop new products with NC2 Global LLC, a tie-up between Caterpillar and truck maker Navistar International Corp, the Chinese firm said.

Jianghuai Automobile and NC2 agreed each will own half of the joint venture, which will produce heavy-duty trucks and accessories in China.

The joint venture is the latest in a series of recent moves by foreign companies to seize growth opportunities in China, which outstripped the U.S. for the first time in January to become the world's largest auto market.

Last month, China's biggest auto maker SAIC Motor and Iveco, Italian auto giant Fiat's truck and engine manufacturing unit, said they planned to expand their joint venture's product line.

The nation's auto sales soared 81.7% in August from a year earlier to 1.14 million units, breaking the one million unit mark for a sixth consecutive month, according to figures from an industry association.

Sales of commercial vehicles in China, including trucks and buses, rose 10.3% in August from a year earlier to 280,200 due to improving economic growth and government spending on infrastructure.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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