Daimler Agrees To Pact With Chinese Partner BAIC

BERLIN (AP) -- Daimler AG says it has signed an agreement with Chinese partner BAIC to expand their cooperation and build more vehicles in China.

Daimler said Tuesday that the deal, signed during a visit to Berlin by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, would involve an investment of some €2 million ($2.8 million) in the companies' joint venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd.

The German company says local car production for the Chinese market will be expanded this year to include the GLK compact SUV, with three new Mercedes-Benz models following later.

It says a new plant will also produce gasoline engines for Mercedes-Benz cars and vans made in China starting in 2013.

China is an increasingly important market for premium manufacturers such as Daimler.