BEIJING - Sino-German joint venture Beijing-Benz Automotive Co Ltd plans a five-fold hike in production capacity with more new models to meet growing demand in China's luxury car market.
The tie-up between Daimler AG and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp plans to raise production capacity to as high as 420,000 units by 2015 from 80,000 last year, according to Fu Qian, the joint venture's executive vice-president for sales and marketing.
Fu said the company will introduce one new Mercedes-Benz model every year until 2015.
The joint venture will then have seven models including some with Mercedes front-wheel drive architecture, he added.
The venture now assembles Mercedes E-Class and C-Class sedans as well as the GLK mid-sized SUV. The GLK will hit the market in the first half of this year, going head-to-head with the Audi Q5.
Last year, the company sold 93,000 E-Class and C-Class cars, a surge of 86 percent from 2010. The figure is higher than its total 2011 target of 80,000 units.
Sources from the joint venture said it expects to sell 120,000 cars this year.
Beijing-Benz is also building an engine plant in the capital city to produce three types of engines - two four-cylinders and one six-cylinder.
The engine plant scheduled to begin operations in the middle of next year will have the capacity to make up to 250,000 engines in its first phase, which will be raised to 500,000 units in 2015.