Daimler & Partners Launch Plant in China

Although it is not known whether Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu lived in the 6th century BC or the 4th century BC, either way it is certain that he lived thousands of years “bc,” as in “before cars.” Be that as it may, listen to Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia, today at the first Mercedes-Benz Viano transporter rolled off the production line of the Fujian Daimler Automotive (FJDA) factory in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China: “As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Although it is not known whether Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu lived in the 6th century BC or the 4th century BC, either way it is certain that he lived thousands of years “bc,” as in “before cars.”

Be that as it may, listen to Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia, today at the first Mercedes-Benz Viano transporter rolled off the production line of the Fujian Daimler Automotive (FJDA) factory in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China:

“As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Today, with the first customer vehicle coming off the line, the shareholders and employees of FJDA are taking our first step together to provide exceptionally well-built, locally-produced Mercedes-Benz transporters to our customers in China.”

We’re guessing that the great Taoist philosopher probably wouldn’t have driven a Viano nor a Sprinter, which is also made in the plant, but would have walked.

FJDA is a joint venture between Fujian Motors Group, China Motor Corp., and Daimler AG.

 

D

The FJDA plant is a sizable one, measuring 128,000 square meters, or 1,377,780 square feet. It includes body, paint and assembly. It employs 1,300 at present, a number that is expected to rise as production increases. At full volume and a two-shift operation it will be capable of producing 40,000 units. Some 40% of the parts used in the vehicles built there are sourced from local Chinese suppliers.

This market segment is a growing one in China, with 384,000 multi-purpose vehicles sold in 2009, up from 292,000 in 2008.