Mercedes-Benz MPV to be made in Fujian for China market
German automaker Daimler AG launched a joint venture with partners from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in East China's Fujian Province on Tuesday.
Daimler AG, Fujian Motors Group (FJMG) and Taiwan-based China Motors Corp (CMC) laid the cornerstone for their Fujian Daimler Automotive Ltd (FJDA) joint venture on Tuesday near Qingkou Township in Minhou County of Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, where 40,000 Mercedes-Benz multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) such as Vito, Sprinter and some other vehicle models will be manufactured annually.
The event was held at the future site of the 660,000 square meter facility set up at a cost of US$295 million.
The plant currently has 280 local employees, but the number will gradually increase to 2,800 after production starts in mid-2009, said Ling Yuzhang, chairman of the board of FJMG.
"The new cooperation will raise the technology and quality of the Fujian auto industry and also mark the start of cooperation between the Fujian auto industry and international companies," Ling said.
"FJDA in Fuzhou is Daimler's south China pillar," said Ulrich Walker, Chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia.
Over the next 10 years, the premium MPV/Transporter market in China is expected to grow to approximately 500,000 units annually, from the current level of 200,000, Daimler has estimated.
"At maximum capacity, FJDA will be able to produce up to 40,000 vehicles annually, but will be flexible enough to adjust volume and model mix based on demand," Walker said.
Cai Che, global director of Daimler, noted that when completed, Fujian Daimler will become the biggest Mercedes-Benz MPV production base around the world. Mercedes-Benz MPV vehicles made in Fujian will be mainly delivered to the Chinese market, and some will be exported.