Daimler/Foton production starts in China

The first truck built under the Beijing-Huairou-based joint venture between Daimler AG and Chinese truck maker Foton rolled off the assembly line recently.

Henceforth, all Auman-branded trucks will be produced by the joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA). Under the agreement, Daimler contributes 50 percent to BFDA’s registered capital and additionally provides its engineering expertise, especially in the area of diesel engines and exhaust gas systems. This know-how ensures that Chinese emission standards, ranging up to Euro 5, can be met.

The Beijing-Huairou-based joint venture will continue to forge ahead with capacity development including a second Auman production plant which is currently ramping up. Last year, nearly 110,000 medium and heavy-duty Auman trucks were sold in China and since the founding of the Auman brand in 2002, Foton has produced around 550,000 medium and heavy-duty units at its Beijing-Huairou plant. The second Auman plant is expected to give BFDA a total production capacity of 160,000 trucks.

“The joint production of our first Auman truck under BFDA is the result of thorough planning and groundwork that was done by Daimler and Foton in an intensive and co-operative way,” stated Ulrich Walker, chairman and chief executive of Daimler Northeast Asia Ltd. “Today’s ‘Job #1’ is an essential contribution to the realisation of our strategy for the Chinese market, where Daimler is the only foreign auto company to cover all segments including passenger cars, vans and trucks as well as spare parts and financial services.”

Wang Jinyu, president and chief executive of Foton Motor, was similarly upbeat about the latest landmark in the progress of BFDA. “We are very pleased to be entering this new phase in our co-operation,” he said. “The joint venture products will have more competitive advantages through the combination of Foton’s market know-how and Daimler’s technical expertise.”

Along with the construction of a second Auman truck production site, the joint venture will also establish production of the OM457 engine at the BFDA headquarters. The OM457 engine, which has been used in Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles in Europe and Latin America and now in Fuso’s Heavy, will be introduced in compliance with the coming Chinese emissions standard China 4 which is said to be comparable to Euro 4.

“It is our goal to use the best of both worlds. Through our technical expertise, for example, we will be able to offer our customers an additional option and to cater to their individual needs even better,” added Stefan Albrecht, executive vice president of BFDA.

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