, BEIJING, May 10 – German automaker Daimler AG has begun a trial production at its first overseas engine plant in China ahead of its full operation scheduled for later this year.
Construction of the plant started in July 2011 and is expected to be fully operational in October.
The plant is a subsidiary of Beijing Benz Automobile Co., Ltd. (BBAC), a joint venture between BAIC Motor, Daimler AG and Daimler Greater China Ltd that manufactures Mercedes-Benz cars.
Three types of Mercedes-Benz engines, M270, M274 and M276, will be assembled at the plant, which has an initial annual capacity of 300,000 units.
The engines will be installed in vehicles manufactured by BBAC as well as Fujian Daimler, also a Daimler joint venture that mainly produces Mercedes-Benz vans like Viano, Vito and Sprinter.
Xu Heyi, BBAC board chairman, said the production of Mercedes-Benz engines by the company indicates that Daimler AG is transferring its core technologies to China.
“The construction and operation of the new Mercedes-Benz engine plant is a breakthrough for BBAC in the field of core automobile technologies,” said Xu.
Cai Suping, BBAC’s senior executive vice president, said the new engine plant will not only boost the competitiveness of Mercedes-Benz automobiles in China, but also play an important role in advancing the country’s development in core automobile parts and components.