Daimler to Help Drive Trucks in China

The mainland's need for commercial fleets is leading a surge in truck sales. Interest from foreign makers may improve quality

It's no secret that China's rapidly expanding passenger car market has global automakers engaging in a historic build-out of plant capacity and new models for the mainland. Yet China's commercial truck market is also enjoying double-digit gains. That's why DaimlerChrysler (DCX), the world's biggest truck maker, on Nov. 30 agreed to spend $104 million to acquire a 24% stake of Beijing-based Beiqi Foton Motor.

The just-completed 2006 Beijing Auto Show pulled in a record number of visitors. Foreign multinational auto companies showcased 10 car launches, while domestic players unveiled more than 90 new models, points out Citigroup's Cheung (see BusinessWeek.com, 11/15/06, "Chinese Luxury Cars Debut at Beijing Show").

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