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First BMW, now MercedesBenz to make Smart in China and Sue Shuanghuan

SHANGHAI - October 31, 2007:


Mercedes-Benz is weighing a plan to produce Smart in China following its launch in the U.S market, Chinese media reported today.

Citing a Mercedes-Benz official under the condition of anonymity, auto industry Web site Cheshi.com.cn reported that the company is considering producing Smart either in its existing joint venture in southeast China's Fujian Province or in a new plant.

Last month the Associated Press reported that Daimler AG sees Asia, especially China, as a potential new market for its Smart fortwo.

"It makes sense to market the brand in China, where we already have a profound production base there, though primarily for the domestic market," said Rainer Schmueckle, chief operating officer of Daimler AG. He added that the Smart unit also is poised to break even this year as it readies for the car's U.S. launch in early 2008.

wwww.theautochannel.com/news/2007/10/31/069210.html
 

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Mercedes-Benz hopes to sell 25,000 vehicles in Chinese market this year, up 40 percent.

In the first ten months of the year, Mercedes-Benz has sold over 20,000 vehicles in Chinese market and the company expects to sell 25,000 vehicles by year-end, said Klaus Maier, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz China.

"If we could sell 25,000 vehicles this year, China is likely to enter Mercedes-Benz's top 10 market list. And we expect China to enter top five market list in the near future," Klaus Maier told Shanghai Securities News, adding that China has already become Benz S Class' second largest market throughout the world.

However, China is becoming Mercedes-Benz's fasting growing market in the world, Shanghai Securities News said.

A new generation of Mercedes-Benz C class sedan was introduced to Chinese market last week and the model will be locally produced in March next year, Maier said.

"We are not afraid the impact of local production plan on the sales of new C class in Chinese market," Maier said. "In the first four or five months this year, the sales of old C class was up 100 percent compared to the same period last year. "

The imported new C class will be sold in a three-to-four-month transitional period and locally produced new C class will hit Chinese market next spring, Maier said.

"In the next two years or one year and a half, locally produced Benz vehicles and imported vehicles will each represent a half of total Benz sales in Chinese market, but in the future, locally produced Benz vehicle will take bigger share," Maier said.

Local production of Benz vehicles must meet two requirements said Dong Changzheng, vice president of Beijing Benz Daimler-Chrysler. "First, it must meet Chinese regulations on the local production of foreign brand vehicles; locally produced vehicles must Mercedes-Benz's global standards."

As for the sales network, Dong said Mercedes-Benz has four 4S stores and two exhibition facilities in Beijing and 85 franchised stores throughout China.

In the first ten months of the year, Mercedes-Benz has sold 1.05 million vehicles worldwide, up 1.9 percent from one year earlier, Shanghai Securities News reported.

Mercedes-Benz to produce C class engine in China

Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler Auto Co (BBDC) President and CEO Gunter Butschek said that Mercedes-Benz will introduce the production of powertrain system to China when the joint venture starts to produce C class in China next year.

"The local production of the powertain system simply means local production of engines," said Xu Heyi, Chairman of Board of BBDC, adding that "We will announce this decision in two months. The whole process of an engine production system, from cylinder casting to electronic parts to final assembly, will be made locally in Beijing.”

Currently, Audi is the only foreign luxury automaker that has an engine production facility in China, while other luxury vehicle makers, like BMW and Volvo, do not.

"The most critical part of automobile technology is the engine system. NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) is very pleased to learn Benz’s decision,” said an unnamed official from the Industry Policy Division under NDRC.
 

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Well I hope they have better quality control than Dazhong / Shanghai VW. I've seen new Passats make some very strange drivetrain noise and 'sqeaking' doors... And they sell them for a 'european' price, meaning way too expensive. At they sell for around US$33000 if I remember correctly!
 

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Mercedes-Benz sold 30,630 vehicles in China in 2007.

January 16, 2008 – Mercedes-Benz sold 30,630 vehicles last year in Chinese market, (including Hong Kong and Macau), an increase of 50 percent from one year earlier.

Last year, Mercedes sold 11,500 S class vehicles in Chinese market, which has become the model’s largest market world wide after the United States.

Mercedes also sold 2,000 C class vehicles just one month after being launched in Chinese market.

E class is the only Mercedes- Benz model locally produced in China. Last year, Beijing Mercedes-Benz produced 6,882 E class vehicles, up 25 percent from one year earlier.
source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Mercedes-Benz to show up Smart at Beijing auto show.

April 14, 2008 (Gasgoo.com) - Daimler AG is going to showcase its Smart at the oncoming Beijing Auto Show and the brand is expected to hit the Chinese market this year, Sina.com said today.

With a body length of 2.5 meters and width of 1.5 meters, the Smart car features high safety and the roomy interior. But the price of $20,000 is considered a bit higher in China given its A-segment size.

In fact, Rainer Schmueckle, chief operating officer of Daimler AG, already hinted that Daimler began to see China as a potential new market for its Smart vehicles almost one year ago.

Smart has lost money consistently since it was formed in 1998. The automaker is seeking new opportunities outside Europe to boost sales.

The U.S launch of the Smart model in late 2007 is reported to be a big success. Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said the orders (for Smart) are "going far beyond the production capacity we have available for next year."

Separately, Daimler AG sold 318,700 vehicles in the first quarter of this year, of which Smart shows the biggest increase in sales with 12,100 vehicles sold.

 

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Homemade Mercedes-Benz sells less than expected.

June 10, 2008 - The sales of both the locally made Mercedes-Benz E-Class and its C-Class have not come up to expectations in China, much lower than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and imported vehicles of this brand, according to this global brand's dealerships in Beijing.

The latest statistics show that the Chinese made Mercedes-Benz C-Class sold only 450 units in the second half of the month after it went on sale in March 15, slightly more than the 387 units of E-Class in the whole month of March, but still far away from the expected sales goal. The earliest launched E-Class only made up 20% of the sales of all the locally made Mercedes-Benz cars in China in the first quarter of 2008.

Mercedes-Benz sold 13,165 vehicles from January to April in the Chinese market (including Hong Kong and Macau), up 48% from one year earlier. During the four-month period China became Mercedes-Benz R-class crossover's second largest market worldwide after the United States. This crown also went to Benz S-class by the end of last year. The imported Mercedes-Benz S-Class and luxury SUVs were sold best in China during the first four months this year.

To meet the booming demands from Chinese consumers, Mercedes-Benz officially launched the limited edition of Mercedes SLK Passion 08 at the 2008 Beijing auto show in April. The model was intended to boost Benz's sales in China together with its already locally built C-class and S-class sedan. Last year Mercedes-Benz sold 30,630 vehicles in China, an increase of 50 percent from 2006.

At the China launch of the imported C-Class in November 2007, Mercedes-Benz's China sales executive said that the sales of imported and locally made Mercedes-Benz vehicles would reach a 50:50 ratio by 2010. But the sales of Chinese-made Mercedes-Benz in the first quarter this year showed that this goal would be hard to attain. Chinese buyers prefer imported cars to home-made cars.
source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Mercedes-Benz China sales up 46% in Jan-May.

June 25, 2008 - Mercedes-Benz has achieved rapid sales growth in the Chinese market by selling 14,600 vehicles in the mainland from January to May, an increase of 46% from one year earlier. China sales of the German carmaker's S-Class sedans in the five months had a 26% increase year on year, continuing to lead China's sedan segment of this class.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans locally made in China have been in short supply in the past three months. The Mercedes-Benz SLK Passion 08 limited edition, a sporty car unveiled and endorsed by Chinese super actress Zhang Ziyi at the 2008 Beijing auto show in April, have been well-received by Chinese customers since it's launched in early May. The R-class crossover has China as its second largest market worldwide after the U.S. The R300 launched in early June has enriched Mercedes-Benz's R-Class lineup in China.

As the flagship model of Mercedes-Benz, its S-Class sedans have been the byname of dignity, safety and high quality. The Mercedes-Benz S 300, S 350, S 500, S 600, S 500 4MATIC and S 65 AMG have been introduced to the Chinese market to meet the growing demands of Chinese consumers. In the January to May period, 5,400 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans were sold in China, up 26% over one year earlier. The S 500 4MATIC launched in China on June 20 will deliver more of the dignity and comfort of S-Class sedans to Chinese customers.

Mercedes-Benz has seen steady sales growth in the Chinese market in recent years. In 2007, Mercedes-Benz sold 30,630 vehicles in China, an increase of 50% from the previous year. As imported Mercedes-Benz sedans are leading China's S-Class auto market, the local production of Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class sedans is also on the way.


source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Mercedes-Benz H1 sales up 52% y/y in China.

July 14, 2008 - German automaker Daimler AG recently said that sales of its Mercedes-Benz brand grew 52% year on year (y/y) in the first half of 2008 in the Chinese market driven by an expanding wealthy customer base. From January to June, Mercedes-Benz sold in China a total of 18,000 luxury cars, including locally made and imported ones, the company said last Friday, as cited by auto.sina.com.

Sales of the imported S-Class vehicles were most brisk, with 6,800 units sold during the period, and China has become the largest Asian market for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Mercedes-Benz E-class sedans, made by its Chinese venture, had its sales up 26% y/y during the period, while sales of the elegant Mercedes-Benz CLK sports / comfort cars rose by 150% y/y. The company has not released the sales figures for its China-built C-Class, imported SUVs, or sports cars.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans locally made in China have been in short supply over the past few months. The SLK Passion 08 limited edition have been well-received by Chinese buyers since its launch in early May. The R-class crossover has found its second largest global market in China after the U.S. The R300 launched in early June has enriched Mercedes-Benz's R-Class lineup in China.

Mercedes-Benz has launched at least five new models in China in the first half to meet the growing demands in the world's second-largest auto market. Mercedes-Benz has seen steady sales growth in the Chinese market in recent years. In 2007, Mercedes-Benz sold 30,630 vehicles in China, an increase of 50% from the previous year.

Although Mercedes-Benz's sales grew rapidly, the car-maker still lags behind the world's biggest luxury auto-maker BMW, which sold 30,325 BMW and Mini cars in China from January to June, a growth of 28% from one year earlier.
source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Beijing Benz expansion

Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. will expand production in China by taking over BAIC Motor's Dongying Road plant in Shunyi, Beijing. This plant will be refurbished and converted to make Mercedes-Benz's future "EQ" line of electric vehicles, starting with an SUV.

This factory currently makes some models of Senova.

Press release
BAIC announcement (PDF)
 
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