Daimler, Foton to Form Truck Partnership

The partnership, named Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Company will produce diesel engines beginning 2011.

Chinese auto maker Beiqi Foton said on Jan. 7 it will set up a truck-manufacturing joint venture with Daimler AG with a total investment of 6.35 billion yuan (US$930 million).

Each of the companies will inject 2.8 billion yuan into the 50-50 Beijing-based joint venture, with the remainder to be financed by bank loans.

Beiqi Foton's contribution will be in the form of an existing plant in the Chinese capital.

The 30-year partnership, named Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Company Ltd., aims to start producing diesel engines from the end of 2011 and trucks from mid-2012. Sales of trucks are expected to reach 100,000 units in 2012 while diesel engine sales are targeted at 45,000 in 2015.

Foton said it plans to cooperate with Daimler to set up further operations in Russia, south Asia and Latin America.

It projected that sales of heavy-duty trucks in China would increase by 18% annually in the next couple of years thanks to a $586 billion economic stimulus package made public late last year by China.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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