Daimler says it will build popular Mercedes truck in Brazil
The German auto group Daimler, world leader in heavy truck manufacturing, said Friday it would build a popular Mercedes-Benz model in Brazil to meet fast growing demand in Latin America.
The Actros truck designed for long-distance transport is to be produced in Juis de Fora, southern Brazil, a statement said, in addition to plants in Woerth, southern Germany and Aksaray, central Turkey.
"The move will enable Mercedes-Benz do Brasil to respond more quickly and flexibly to the growing demand for trucks in Latin America, particularly in the rapidly expanding heavy-duty segment," the statement said.
In the first half of 2010, Brazil emerged as the truck unit's biggest market, with sales of 21,700 vehicles from a global total of 56.300.
Mercedes was surprised by strong growth in Brazil, even though it announced in March an extension of its biggest truck factory outside Europe, in Sao Bernardo do Campo, southern Brazil.
Building its trucks close to foreign markets allows Daimler to significantly reduce costs.
A key rival, the German group MAN, is also expanding in South America after buying heavy truck activities that belonged to Volkswagen, a dominant MAN shareholder.
© 2010 AFP