DaimlerChrysler wird in China produzieren

Der Luxuswagenhersteller steigt in Chinas gesättigten Automarkt ein: DaimlerChrysler said China would approve next month a plan to manufacture Mercedes-Benz cars in the world's third-largest vehicle market, adding to a glut of capacity that is forcing rival BMW to cut prices. "As capacity increases, naturally competition will increase," said the DaimlerChrysler spokesman in Beijing, Trevor Hale. "We're confident we can increase our position." Chinese car sales growth dropped in the 20 months since DaimlerChrysler invested €1 billion, or $1.3 billion, with Beijing Automotive Holdings to build 25,000 C-Class and E-Class luxury cars a year. Growth in car sales slowed to 15 percent last year, after surging 76 percent in 2003 and 50 percent in 2002, the Chinese government said. Bayerische Motoren Werke, General Motors, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen, Ford Motor and Nissan Motor spent $15.6 billion on Chinese auto ventures in the past two years. The chief executive of DaimlerChrysler, Jürgen Schrempp, is under pressure to revive the reputation and sales of Mercedes and retake the position of world's largest luxury carmaker, lost to BMW this quarter. Schrempp faced calls for his resignation at the company's annual meeting on April 6 after last month recalling 1.3 million Mercedes cars to fix defects.
China can now make 40 percent more cars than it can sell, Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Koji Endo said. "It will take several years for the market to grow enough to handle all the excess capacity," said Markus Brueck, a fund manager at Metzler Investment in Frankfurt. In the "long term, premium carmakers have to be in China, but they will go through a rocky patch." Chinese are delaying purchasing cars on the anticipation prices will come down more, said Yale Zhang, an analyst at CSM Asia. "People realize there's still a lot of room for price cuts," Zhang said in Shanghai.


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