The Chinese market is an important one for Mercedes-Benz, so no one thought twice when the German automaker entered into a manufacturing agreement with China’s BAIC. The joint venture, known as Beijing Benz, recently announced that it will begin building E-Class models for export.
Demand for E-Class models within China is rising year-on-year, with Beijing Benz reporting sales growth of 52 percent in the first 11 months of 2011, according to Gasgoo. China even gets unique E-Class models such as the long-wheelbase E-Class L, pitched with an extra helping of cheese by none other than George Clooney.
What we don’t yet know is which markets will get the Chinese-built Mercedes-Benz models. The United States is an unlikely choice (for now at least), since even Honda won’t ship Chinese manufactured Honda Fit hatchbacks to the U.S., although it does send them to Canada.
Beijing Benz sees the export of E-Class models as opening doors for the German-Chinese joint venture, as well as benefiting Beijing’s auto industry in general. BAIC hopes the success between itself and Mercedes-Benz will lead to further cooperation in the future.