Beijing Benz

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Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd.
Type Private joint venture
Industry Automotive
Founded 1984 (1984)
Headquarters Beijing, China
Area served China
Products Automobiles
Owner(s) Beijing Automotive Group (50%)
Daimler AG (50%)
Website www.bbac.com.cn/
Beijing Benz
Simplified Chinese 北京奔驰
Traditional Chinese 北京奔馳
Literal meaning Beijing Benz

Beijing Benz (officially Beijing Benz Automotive Co Ltd) is an automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Beijing, China, and a joint venture between Beijing Automotive Group and Daimler AG.[1][2] Since its founding in 1984 the company has kept the same Chinese co-owner but has had several foreign co-owners.

Beijing Benz assembles and manufactures the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (long wheelbase), C-Class, and GLK-Class in China.[3]

While Beijing Benz does not produce all the Mercedes-branded autos sold on the Chinese market, such cars currently enjoy a reputation for high quality and popularity.[4] Some Mercedes offerings, the S-Class for example, are imported by Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd.[5] Mercedes Benzes are, alongside FAW Group Audis, Brilliance Auto BMWs, and Lexuses, some of the only Western luxury cars to have gained popularity in the Chinese market.[6]

Sales in 2010 were expected to reach 50,000 cars,[7] but total Mercedes Benz sales in China including imports were near 150,000.[8] In 2008 Beijing Benz's production capacity was estimated at 100,000 units/year[9] although that figure may consider engines and vehicles as discrete, and the company was likely able to produce only half that number of whole vehicles.

History[edit]

While its history can be traced back to the oldest of the Chinese auto-making joint ventures with a Western partner, Beijing Benz was established in 2005 and is currently owned by Beiqi and Daimler AG.[10]

American Motors[edit]

Beijing BJ2021, a Jeep XJ with raised roof and longer wheelbase for more rear passenger room

Beijing Benz grew out of what was originally the Beijing Jeep Corporation (Chinese: 北京吉普汽车有限公司), China's first Sino-western automotive joint venture having been established in 1984 with American Motors Corporation.[11]

American Motors began negotiations in 1979 to sell its vehicles in China and to gain access to then low-cost Chinese labor.[12] The Chinese wanted more-modern automotive technology; Beijing Jeep suited the needs of both parties and produced the American Motors Jeep Cherokee (XJ) in Beijing.[12] While talks began in the late 1970s, operation started in 1985.[13] Assembly of the Cherokee continued after Chrysler purchased American Motors as did production of the classic Beijing BJ212-based SUVs.[12]

Beijing Jeep has since become well known as an example of early FDI in China.[14] Its pitfalls and successes are pored over in case studies, and such academic reports sometimes compare the marketing strategy of Beijing Jeep with that of Shanghai Volkswagen, another early Sino-foreign joint venture.[15]

Chrysler[edit]

Beijing BJ2500 in 2004, a Jeep XJ with a facelifted front end

When Chrysler purchased American Motors in 1987,[16] its Jeep brand came with an unexpected boon, Beijing Jeep. A few Chrysler models were subsequently added to the Chinese company's product line including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and the Mitsubishi Outlander, as well as some Beijing Jeep-branded, locally-developed vehicles.[citation needed] Chrysler no longer has any ownership in Beijing Jeep as of early 2009,[17] and domestic manufacture of Jeep-branded vehicles ceased in 2006.[18] Newer Jeep models may be soon produced at a joint venture between Guangzhou Automobile Group and Fiat, current owner of Chrysler and the Jeep brand, however.[19]

Daimler AG[edit]

During Chrysler's short-lived partnership with Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, production at Beijing Jeep was expanded to include Mercedes-Benz-branded products. Its legal name was changed to Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler Automotive Co Ltd,[11] with then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in attendance at the 2004 naming ceremony.[11] While Chrysler was removed from the company in 2009, it remained in its legal name[17] for several more years.

The company started producing the Mercedes-Benz E-Class locally in 2006 and the C-Class in 2008.[8] Manufacture of Chrysler-branded models continued until at least 2008.[9] This included the 300C, which was both locally produced and imported.[20]

Prior to 2010 the E-Class may have been assembled from knock-down kits, and the localization rate for production was a scant 30%.[21]

Operations[edit]

Beijing Benz has a production base at the Beijing Economic & Technological Development Area.[22] Another plant opened in 2010.[7] This opening may have increased potential Beijing Benz production capacity to 300,000 units/year.[9] Such unit counts may consider engines and automobiles as discrete. A future engine-making production base is scheduled to become operational in 2013.[8]

Government procurement[edit]

As of 2009 Beijing Benz products, alongside those of several other makes, are purchased for use by Chinese State officials such as ministers and provincial heads.[23] A First Automobile Works Audi is the traditional choice for this purpose.[23]

Models[edit]

Current[edit]

Mercedes C-Class W204 facelift front 
Mercedes C-Class W204 facelift rear 
Mercedes E-Class V212 front 
Mercedes E-Class V212 rear 
Mercedes GLK-Class facelift 

Past[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daimler Northeast Asia". Mercedes Benz China. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "2009 Annual Report, 2. Significant acquisitions and dispositions of interests in companies and of other assets and liabilities". Daimler AG. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ For assembly of vehicles, see "2009 Annual Report, 34. Related Party Relationships". Daimler AG. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Motoring: Short Torque". China Daily. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a leader in innovation". Global Times. Shanghai Daily. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Shirouzu, Norihiko (7 June 2011). "Chinese Begin Volvo Overhaul". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Zheng, Amanda (6 December 2010). "Beijing Benz 2010 sales expected to hit 50,000 units, up 179%". Automotive News (gasgoo.com). Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Daimler Expands Activities in China". Daimler AG. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "BBDC Improves Budget Management and Keeps Pace with Fast-Changing Automotive Market". oracle.com. November 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  10. ^ For pedigree, see Qiao, Yu (7 December 2004). "JV renamed Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler". China Daily. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Qiao, Yu (7 December 2004). "JV renamed Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler". China Daily. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c Mann, Jim (1997). Beijing Jeep: A Case Study of Western Business in China. Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-3327-4. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Doing business in China: the last great market - Page 192 Geoffrey Murray - 1994 "BEIJING JEEP Finally in this chapter, I want to return to the ongoing story of Beijing Jeep. When the first Cherokee rolled off the assembly line on 26 September 1985 - almost six years after talks on the joint venture had begun - an ..."
  14. ^ Needle, David (2010). Business in Context: An Introduction to Business and Its Environment (5 ed.). Cengage Learning EMEA. pp. 42–44. ISBN 978-1-84480-613-3. 
  15. ^ Gu, Zhibin; Frank, Andre Gunder (2006). China's global reach: markets, multinationals, and globalization. Fultus. pp. 84–86. ISBN 978-1-59682-093-7. 
  16. ^ Adler, Dennis (2000). Chrysler. MotorBooks International. p. 15. ISBN 9781610608718. 
  17. ^ a b Gao, George (17 May 2010). "Guangzhou-Fiat JV to make Chrysler Jeep in Changsha". Automotive News (gasgoo.com). Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Chrysler's Jeep Faces Uphill Climb in China". WSJ.com. Dow Jones & Company. May 9, 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Marchionne Arrives Late To China Party with Fiat Viaggio". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg LP. Apr 23, 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler recalls defective sedans". China Daily. Xinhua. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  21. ^ For knock-down assembly of E-Class, see "China's domestically-made Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans to get off the line in Beijing". China Business News. Shanghai: May 31, 2010.
  22. ^ For Beijing Economic & Technological Development Area, see "Daimler Northeast Asia". Mercedes Benz China. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
    • For 15kM from Daxing Caiyu, see "Part Overview". Beijing Hainachuan Automotive Parts Co., Ltd. 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  23. ^ a b Shasha, Deng, ed. (13 June 2009). "Chinese public revved up over BMW, Benz on gov't car list". xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "Beijing built Mercedes GLK pops out for pictures with minor facelift and 2.0T". chinacartimes.com. July 14, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  25. ^ Dunne, Timothy. "Can Chrysler Rebound in China?" Business Week, November 2, 2007. Retrieved on January 22, 2008.

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