At a ceremony held in Beijing and attended by both Chinese and German Premiers today, the partnership of Beiqi Foton, the commercial vehicle subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC), and Daimler AG finally received official blessing.
Daimler and BAIC already have a passenger car joint venture which produces Mercedes-Benz cars. In the past seven years, Daimler has been trying to join forces with Foton to build trucks. Largely due to China’s policy restrictions, its attempts have not been successful until now.
The new company will be equally owned by both sides. Its basic objective is to utilize Daimler’s world-class technology, especially that of diesel engines, to build Foton Auman trucks.
According to a letter of intent signed last year, total investment will top 6 billion yuan, or 886 million US dollars.
Foton sold more than 600,000 vehicles in 2009, and targets 1.5 million in 2015, 30% of which will be for overseas markets. Its product line includes mainly light- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, and MPVs.