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Daimler Partners With Chinese Automaker

Automaker and Beiqi Foton Motor to form a joint venture to make medium and heavy-duty trucks in China and to look into selling Foton's Auman trucks overseas.

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Daimler AG and Beiqi Foton Motor on Thursday signed an agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture to make medium and heavy-duty trucks in China and to look for opportunities to sell Foton's Auman trucks in overseas markets.

The letter-of-intent calls for the venture to use Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty engine technology and the Auman brand to build international sales of low-end commercial vehicles, Daimler said in a statement.

Foton's Auman-brand trucks include tractors, dump trucks, platform trucks and a variety of special-purpose vehicles, such as stack vehicles, cement pump trucks and cement mixers.

With the new joint venture Daimler will have two commercial vehicle ventures and one passenger car venture in China.

"This new joint venture will be the first Sino-European commercial vehicle operation with an aim to expand production in international markets," Wang Jinyu, president of Beiqi Foton, said in the statement.

Financial details of the new venture were not available.

Beijing-based Beiqi Foton is one of China's biggest commercial vehicle makers, employing 28,000 workers.

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