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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Chinese-foreign automobile joint ventures look to emerging markets

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

10:56, January 11, 2012

BEIJING - International automakers with production joint ventures in China are increasingly using their bases in the country to export models to emerging markets, challenging domestic players who are keen to expand in overseas markets.

Moreover, as luxury players build special models for Chinese consumers, such as long-wheelbase versions only built in China, these models will find buyers in markets in the Middle East, where there is demand for larger, longer models, which are often seen as status symbols.

That's according to Boni Sa, a production analyst of the industry researcher, IHS Automotive Inc.

In December, the German automaker Daimler AG began exporting its Mercedes-Benz long-wheelbase E-Class sedans to South America.

The model, specially tailored for the growing premium car market in China, is exclusively produced at Beijing Benz Automotive Co Ltd (BBAC), Daimler's 50-50 joint venture with its Chinese partner BAIC Group.

"The export of our long-wheelbase E-Class from China marks a significant step in the development of the China premium auto industry, and demonstrates that BBAC produces cars with the world-renowned Mercedes-Benz quality," said Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia.

"Following this first export batch, we will look into further opportunities for our special version of the E-Class in carefully selected overseas markets."

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