Daimler AG is considering a plan to produce more passenger car models in China, and it has reaffirmed a forecast that sales in mainland China will enjoy at least a 10 percent growth in 2011.
Ulrich Walker, Daimler’s northeast Asia chairman, said Daimler is evaluating Chinese production of its A Class and B Class sedans and SUVs, depending on demand.
Daimler forecasts China's car market will grow 10 percent to 15 percent in 2011, with luxury car sales exceeding overall expansion.
The carmaker, whose Mercedes-Benz luxury unit more than doubled deliveries in China to 147,700 units in 2010, currently makes its best-selling C Class and high-end E Class models there.
Government incentives and economic growth helped boost China's vehicle sales by 32 percent to 18.1 million units in 2010.
In China, Daimler has joint ventures with Fujian Motors Group and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Daimler, which intends to open up to 30 dealerships in China in 2011, says it expects to double production capacity in China in five years.
As of October 2010, Daimler could produce up to 100,000 units annually. Walker said that the demand for luxury cars will continue to increase due to the economic growth and rising incomes.
He said that he believes Daimler’s sales will not be affected by measures implemented by the Chinese government to cool the economy. [via autonews - sub. required]