Daimler and Foton Motor have made significant progress regarding their negotiations to establish a 50:50 joint venture. A joint venture contract was signed in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Premier of the People's Republic of China Wen Jiabao. The approval for the deal was granted by the relevant Chinese government authority.

"The joint venture with Foton Motor represents another key milestone in implementing our China strategy. It further strengthens our position to address all segments of the market. And it shows that we deliver what we promise taking full advantage of the enormous potential in China and other growth countries." Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG comments about the signing ceremony.

"The NDRC approval of the joint venture with Foton Motor in China is a key milestone in Daimler Truck's overall strategy," said Andreas Renschler, member of Daimler's Board of Management and Head of Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. "The joint venture offers us an excellent springboard from which we can achieve growth, profitability and expansion in China, and with Foton as a global partner, in the international markets as well."

CEO and Chairman of Daimler North East Asia, Ulrich Walker remarks, "With the newly established joint venture with Foton Motor, Daimler has now become the first and only international automotive manufacturer that had successfully deepened its cooperation with China in all segments of the automotive industry". He further elaborates that "all of these joint venture projects stemmed from Daimler's thorough and long-term commitment to China".

"We are very pleased to have Daimler Trucks, the world's largest truck manufacturer, as our strategic partner for BAIC's Foton Motor subsidiary," said Xu Heyi, Chairman of BAIC. "And we're happy that our further and even more profound collaboration with Daimler, one of our most important strategic partners and as a good friend, has been sealed by this joint venture."

Wang Jingyu, CEO and President of Foton Motor. added, "We plan to use Daimler Trucks' technological expertise in particular to further expand our commercial vehicle activities. The establishment of the new joint venture marks our first step towards global businesses and collaborations."

Daimler will contribute its technological expertise to the joint venture - especially in the area of diesel engines and exhaust gas systems - so that the Chinese emissions limits ranging up to Euro 5 can be fulfilled. Both partners will use Foton's truck brand Auman as a platform in China and as a springboard for joint exports. Alongside its sales and service network in the medium- and heavy-duty truck sector, Foton will contribute its market know-how in China and the rest of Asia to the joint venture. Foton has grown very quickly since its entry into the truck business in 1998. Last year it sold 82,234 heavy-duty truck units and thus already plays a key role in China's truck segment.

Foton Motor is a subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC). The joint venture will expand Daimler's industrialization in China to include trucks, in addition to passenger cars and vans.