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Daimler, Beiqi Foton agree in principle on truck JV

Automotive

Daimler AG, the world’s leading truck manufacturer, and Beiqi Foton, a major Chinese commercial vehicle company, signed a letter of intent on Thursday to form a 50-50 trucks joint venture.

The JV will sell medium and heavy-duty trucks in China and in overseas markets under Foton’s Auman brand, the two companies said in a statement.

The joint venture will be finalized after the Olympics, which start on Friday, Xu Heyi, the chairman of Beiqi Foton’s parent company, told Reuters in June. “Construction, logistics and long-range hauling are all industries which continue to expand in China and internationally, and which will need reliable, high-quality, lower-end trucks,” Wendelin Wolbert, president of Daimler Trucks China, said in the statement.

With the agreement, Daimler will have three joint ventures in China, two for commercial vehicles and one for passenger cars. “This new joint venture will be the first Sino-European commercial vehicle operation with an aim to expand production in international markets,” Wang Jinyu, president of Foton, said in the statement. “This not only benefits both companies, but it satisfies the Chinese government’s goal of expanding production outside China,” he added. (Reuters)

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