Daimler has established a 50:50 joint venture with Russian car and truckmaker Kamaz to produce Fuso Canter light trucks from semi-knockdown kits imported from Japan. Daimler owns 85% of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and will contribute €4.1m to the venture – called Fuso Kamaz Trucks Rus – with the same figure being invested by Kamaz.
From next year the Fuso Canter trucks will be assembled at Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia, where Kamaz has its production plant. The SKD kits are being shipped from MFTBC’s Kawasaki plant in Kanegawa, Japan. Once assembled they will be distributed to the Russian market. Daimler is not releasing information on the logistics providers involved in the movement of the kits from Russia until final negotiations have been concluded.
The joint venture builds on the strategic partnership that Daimler Trucks established with Kamaz, Russian Technologies, and the investment bank Troika Dialog in December 2008. In connection with this partnership, Daimler Trucks acquired a 10% stake in Kamaz. Reports this week suggest that Daimler may increase its stake in Kamaz to 25%.
Daimler and Kamaz are involved in a second 50:50 joint venture based on SKD unit assembly also recently announced. Each company has contributed €5.9m to the venture, called Mercedes-Benz Trucks Vostok and assembly of the Actros and Axor trucks will also take place at the Naberezhnye Chelny plant in Russia from the second quarter of 2010.
“The implementation of the two joint venture projects between Kamaz and Daimler Trucks has brought us a giant step towards to the expansion of our presence in the Russian market,” said Andreas Renschler, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses. “As soon as the Russian truck market recovers, we at Daimler Trucks [will be] able to react on any additional truck demand immediately,” Renschler added.