Luxury car maker Mercedes is getting ready for China domination.
Looking to bump current market leader Audi, Mercedes will invest 30 billion RMB into the Chinese market to expand its presence in the premium compact segment. The company will increase its production capacity, introduce new and innovative locally made models and also produce more parts in China.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said at the signing ceremony in Berlin, “We are laying the essential strategic foundations for our long-term and significant participation in the growth of the key market China. We are resolutely switching to attack mode with the local production of our new compacts.”
Sales of Mercedes in the Chinese market in the first quarter of 2011 exploded, up by 120%, yet were limited by low production capacity at Beijing-Benz.
Mercedes expects to launch at least one model each year in China in the next five years.
Mercedes will produce the GLK locally by the end of 2011 follow by three locally-produced compact models of the next generation A- and B-Classes in 2013.
The company expects to expand production capacity for the C-Class and long-wheelbase E-Class, which is currently at 80,000 units a year.
This investment in the Beijing Benz Automotive joint venture also will fund construction of an engine plant and a new R&D center.
photo credit: mercedes