Mercedes-Benz considering Chinese production for the GLK compact crossover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

As part of its plans to improve local output in China, Daimler is considering Chinese production of its Mercedes-Benz GLK four-wheel-drive or another mid-range car in its joint venture plant in Beijing, chief financial officer Bodo Uebber said in an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung.

In particular, Uebber said that Daimler may produce further models below the E-Class, aside from the C-Class. He added that it's possible that the GLK, crossover between a regular compact car and a sport utility vehicle (SUV), will be included in this list.

Daimler has noted a surge in sales of its mid-range Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class cars. Daimler has a target of selling more than 100,000 Mercedes-Benz cars in China this year, up from the 67,000 in 2009.

In the first five months, sales have more than doubled from a year earlier to nearly 46,500 units. For the China market, Mercedes-Benz aims to sell at least 300,000 vehicles annually by 2015, half of which will be built in local factories.

Uebber asserted that by that time, the capacity of its Beijing factory will be doubled. Daimler currently has two auto ventures in China, producing its Mercedes-Benz car models at Beijing Benz (with Beijing Auto, or BAIC) and Viano and Vito MPV models at Fujian Daimler (with Fujian Motors and Taiwan's China Motors).

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