November 14, 2003
DaimlerChrysler to export more vehicles to China
Auburn Hills, Michigan – DaimlerChrysler, in the presence of the Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, Ma Xiuhong, signed letters of intent today strengthening the Company’s ability to export and distribute passenger vehicles to China from North America.
DaimlerChrysler plans to export approximately 4,500 vehicles to China from North America including vehicles from the Chrysler Group and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, built in Alabama.
“The signing of these letters of intent is an important step in increasing the export to and distribution in China of Chrysler, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and significantly complements our future business plans there,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group CEO. “We were the pioneers in China with the first international automotive manufacturing joint venture 20 years ago. Our strategy in China – importing, building and selling passenger cars and commercial vehicles – will help ensure that we take advantage of the many business opportunities in the world’s fastest growing automotive market.”
Tom LaSorda, Chrysler Group Executive Vice-President of Manufacturing, joined the Vice Minister, members of the Chinese delegation and other DaimlerChrysler officials at the signing ceremony at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.
DaimlerChrysler’s joint venture with Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company Ltd. (BAIC), Beijing Jeep Corporation (BJC), was the first automotive manufacturing joint venture to be established in China in 1983. DaimlerChrysler signed a new strategic automotive framework agreement with BAIC in September. With this new and comprehensive agreement, DaimlerChrysler and BAIC have committed to re-invigorating BJC, the original joint venture, and increasing investment in order to incorporate the production of up to 25,000 Mercedes-Benz E- and C- class sedans in China. Within this new framework, DaimlerChrysler will cooperate with Beiqi Fujian, in which BJC is the major shareholder, in the production of heavy and medium-duty trucks – including Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks and engines and other components – for the domestic Chinese market.