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Fujian Benz's 10th anniversary shows Daimler's commitment to localization

By Hao Yan ( China Daily )

Updated: 2017-09-07

With a strong portfolio of luxury multi-purpose vehicles consistently meeting local demands, Fujian Benz Automotive has brought Mercedes-Benz Vans products to Chinese customers through its decade-long journey in the world's largest auto market.

The Sino-German joint venture is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as the Mercedes-Benz Vans production base for parent-company Daimler in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fujian Benz's 10th anniversary shows Daimler's commitment to localization

Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for China operations

"For 10 years, Fujian Benz Automotive has served as an excellent demonstration of how investing in the localization of research and development, products, and production is a key to our success," said Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management of Daimler, responsible for China operations.

Fujian Benz has invested heavily in products tailored to the needs of Chinese customers, and this consistent product localization has seen the company's 2017 sales in China reach over 15,000 vehicles as of August, 80 percent year-on-year growth.

Founded in 2007, Fujian Benz is a joint venture co-invested by Daimler, BAIC Motor and Fujian Motor Industry Group. Today, the company produces the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, the midsize Vito, and larger Sprinter for Chinese customers.

"China, as the biggest automobile market in the world, has also become an increasingly important market for Mercedes-Benz Vans, following Europe and the United States," noted Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "With the right products and an optimized dealer network, we are confident that this growth will continue."

In April of this year, Daimler's sales joint venture for its Mercedes-Benz passenger car brand, Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service, began facilitating the sales and marketing, network development, and after-sales service for the V-Class and Vito products from Fujian Benz.

Since the beginning of 2017, the sales network for its vans has doubled, growing to more than 160 outlets across China, with more expansion planned to meet China's growing demand for MPVs.

Investment in quality

These vans are produced at Fujian Benz's fully-equipped modern facility, employing the Mercedes-Benz Production System and following a strict quality management system for the successful manufacturing of its premium products.

Skilled workers from China, Germany, Spain and other countries complement each other and form a young, self-disciplined, dedicated and efficient international team at Fujian Benz.

To ensure product quality, the plant cooperates closely with Mercedes-Benz Vans' global competence centers, which are based in Europe, with employees from Fujian Benz undergoing intensive training there for the local ramp up in China.

"Our local team here is committed to bringing our local customers the vans that both meet their needs and live up to their expectations for Mercedes-Benz quality," said Guido Krupinski, president and CEO, Fujian Benz Automotive.

China focus

The automaker operates a dedicated overseas Mercedes-Benz Vans R&D center at Fujian Benz, and is committed to providing individualized and customized products for Chinese customers.

"With our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, we tap into new markets, unlocking further growth potential worldwide," said Mornhinweg. "Fujian Benz is an integral part of this strategic approach, providing Chinese customers with products that are specifically tailored to their needs and wishes."

Put into operation in 2013, the R&D center enhances Fujian Benz's product R&D capability, facilitating a fast and precise reaction toward changing Chinese market requirements.

In addition, it provides testing services and technical support to companies and organizations in the automobile industry as an open technical platform.

Thanks to this local support, the new V-Class produced in Fujian Benz includes, for example, such China-specific features as a panoramic sliding sunroof and luxury comfort seats in the rear, featuring electrically adjustable backrests and thigh supports, as well as a massage function.

Fujian Benz launched the new Vito models in September 2016. Their design, spaciousness and flexibility meet the diversified needs of business use, making both models a good investment for rising Chinese entrepreneurs on their road to success.

Fujian Benz invested around 1.4 billion yuan ($214.6 million) in the production of the new V-Class and Vito in China.

"China is a key market for all of our business units at Daimler," Troska said. "And we have consistently expanded our portfolio with offerings tailored to our Chinese customers' needs."

With strong local production and products, Fujian Benz is now positioned to meet the growing demand here in China for its van models.

"With our firm China commitment, together with strong partners, we will continue to bring our customers here exceptional 'Made in China, for China' products," said Troska.

haoyan@chinadaily.com.cn

Fujian Benz's 10th anniversary shows Daimler's commitment to localization

Opened in 2013, the research and development Center at Fujian Benz is the first of its kind for Mercedes-Benz Vans outside Germany.Photos Provided To China Da Ily

Fujian Benz's 10th anniversary shows Daimler's commitment to localization

An engineer at the assembly line of Fujian Benz. Dedicated employees ensure the quality of Fujian Benz's tailored-for-China products.

Fujian Benz's 10th anniversary shows Daimler's commitment to localization

Fujian Benz provides Chinese customers with strong local products tailored to their needs.

Fujian Benz's 10th anniversary shows Daimler's commitment to localization

Based in Fuzhou, Sino-German joint venture Fujian Benz celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

(China Daily 09/07/2017 page7)

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