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Daimler opens Mercedes-Benz engine plant in China; first MB passenger car engine plant outside of Germany

Mercedes-Benz marked another milestone in its China strategy with the official opening ceremony of its engine plant—the first for passenger-car engines outside of Germany.

As a green-field plant that combines advanced technology with sustainable and lean production processes, the new Beijing-based Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation (BBAC) engine plant will manufacture four- and six-cylinder engines to power the passenger cars produced at BBAC and Mercedes-Benz vans produced locally at the joint venture Fujian Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (FBAC). Being based on a flexible production-line concept, the annual capacity is planned at 250,000 units for the initial phase.

Together with the long-wheelbase E-Class and the C-Class, GLK-Class vehicles are currently manufactured at Beijing Benz Automotive Company Ltd. (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and BAIC Motor. Both companies have celebrated the tenth anniversary of their strategic cooperation this year.

In the past decade, BBAC has grown to become a main production hub for Mercedes-Benz. Around 100,000 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars were produced locally at BBAC in 2012. With Daimler’s €2-billion (US$2.7-billion) investment, BBAC is increasing its production capacities to more than 200,000 units by 2015. In the near future, the GLA-Class will complement the portfolio of locally produced Mercedes-Benz passenger cars as the fourth model.

The global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars includes the German plants in Sindelfingen, Bremen and Rastatt; the Hungarian plant in Kecskemét; the US plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; the South African plant in East London; and the BBAC (Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation, a joint venture between Daimler and BAIC) production facility in Beijing, China as the main vehicle production facilities.

In addition, there are the German locations of the powertrain production network, which include the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant (the central location in Germany) as well the plants in Berlin and Hamburg, and the subsidiary MDC Power in Kölleda.

The international locations include the new engine plant at the BBAC joint venture in Beijing as well as the Romanian subsidiary Star Transmission. From 2014, Daimler and Nissan will also start the joint production of four-cylinder gasoline engines based on a Mercedes-Benz design at the Nissan plant in Tennessee.

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