Top Ten Keywords in the Automotive Industry in 2008: A New Pattern of Joint Venture for Commercial Vehicles

On August 7, Foton Motor and Daimler Beijing signed a letter of intent for cooperation. Both parties agreed to set up a 50:50 joint venture company in China to provide mid-size and heavy-duty trucks and technologies, and explore expansion in the global market. Futian Auman brand other opportunities for international production and sales.

Judging from the agreement now reached, the future joint venture company will produce Futian Auman heavy truck products and Mercedes-Benz OM457 heavy truck engines licensed by Daimler, but the Mercedes-Benz heavy truck that was previously expected by the domestic market is not among the joint venture products.

The two parties stressed that this cooperation is strategic cooperation rather than market-for-technology cooperation. Both parties plan to establish the China-Heavy-Duty Joint Venture Co., Ltd. as the operation center for both global cooperation businesses, as well as the management decision-making, R&D, production, and supply chain management for the global cooperation between the two sides. , marketing management center

Under the premise of a Chinese heavy truck joint venture company obtaining a business license, the two parties agreed to establish a joint venture company outside of China. The first step is to set up a joint venture company in Russia approximately two years after the establishment of the joint venture company. The second step is the joint venture company. Three to five years after its founding, a joint venture company is established in South Asia and Central and South America. This means that Foton Motors can use proprietary joint ventures to establish its own brand trucks into overseas markets such as Europe and South America.

Yuan Yue: This is a cooperation between a high-end strong person and a mid-range strong person

Some people suspect that due to Mercedes-Benz's strong technology and global brand appeal, Foton will not become a global foundry of Mercedes-Benz trucks. In fact, this worry is not without a source but it is not a fact. Because in fact, Mercedes-Benz is borrowing the cost advantage and market expansion capability of low-end medium- and heavy-duty trucks from Foton, combined with the brand influence of Mercedes-Benz in the world, in addition to the original high-end trucks, the mid-tier heavy-duty trucks Mercedes-Benz truck series in the basic non-existent market; and Fukuda can use Mercedes-Benz brand appeal to accelerate the expansion of the Chinese market and the expansion of the global market (even to promote the cooperation of all parties and users of Fukuda in other machines In fact, the two sides have reached a relatively unanimous consensus in the market expansion strategy of the BRICS countries.

The cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and Foton is a cooperation between a high-end strong person and a mid-range strong person, thus creating new development space for each of them.

Yang Kejian: Whether it is necessary to observe a new joint venture

The development status of China's auto industry in the past 20 years has confirmed that the original development strategy of "taking the market for technology" was just a wishful vision. The international auto giants, which have firmly controlled the core technologies, are occupying the market with great fanfare on the one hand, but they haven't rushed to teach the technology. It is imperative to seek a new path for the development of the Chinese auto industry. The joint venture between Beiqi Foton and Daimler may have given us a glimmer of hope for a new venture.

In terms of management, the marriage between China's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer is not only a major event in the commercial vehicle market. Under optimistic view, Beiqi Foton is learning Daimlerk under the concept of dual-brand strategic cooperation. While advancing advanced technology and management, it can also use the new sales and service network to enter the global market, continuously enhance its own product strength and brand awareness, thus accelerating its own internationalization process. Really strengthen the power of self-owned brands in cooperation.

However, as the saying goes, “There is no free lunch in the world”, the collaborators are never the saviors, and their own best interests are always the bottom line of negotiations. Therefore, the Chinese side must always keep a clear head and cannot fully optimize its own technological progress and management. Send hope to foreign partners. Rather than swearingly make such an overly empty expectation of “does not rule out R&D of the third brand”, it is better to build a brand that is already strong, and to launch products that are truly competitive and able to meet market demands, so as to long.

On the surface, Fukuda has benefited a lot, but Daimler may have deeper intentions

In this round of joint venture cooperation, the multinational truck company began to adjust its joint venture details while summing up the experience and lessons of the first round of failure. Unlike the previous joint ventures, which produced more powerful brands, the Futian Company In the letter of intent signed by Daimler, Fukuda's brand, not the Mercedes-Benz brand, has been demonstrated.

Prospective analysis of the joint venture between Foton and Daimler: First, from the domestic market perspective. At present, the competition in China's heavy-duty truck industry is very fierce. At the same time, the industry is facing a group of Chinese truck users who are extremely sensitive to price. Most of this group are not used to paying for advanced technology. (The state-level route dispute proves this situation once again.) Obviously, the "new" Auman produced by the joint venture company is bound to increase its price due to the advanced technology of Daimler. This will make The "new" Auman is unlikely to make a big breakthrough in the market in a short period of time. Therefore, Daimler, who has always wanted to increase his share in the Chinese market, is afraid to wait.

Second, in overseas markets. Mercedes-Benz's technology is undoubtedly a block-in-cheap sign. For Chinese trucks that have always been criticized by overseas users for their low quality and low prices, with its guards, it is clear that they can enhance the image of Foton Motors and Auman brand, and thus in the international market. More competitive. At the same time, according to the agreement, Foton can also use Daimler's network as a low-end product member to sell. This leveraging approach will bring many benefits to Futian Auman's international expansion.

Again, in this intentional cooperation, Fukuda has always maintained its own brand, which is an improvement in China's auto joint venture model where large-scale introduction of foreign products has taken place in China. If China passively shares production licenses without product development, it will eventually lead foreign parties to control the dominance of new products and brand ownership. Under such circumstances, joint venture foreign companies can hardly tolerate an active R&D in the joint venture. Organizations have led to a weaker technical force in China. This form of joint venture guarantees that the joint venture company can improve its visibility and competitiveness through Daimler’s technology and image without giving up its own brand.

It seems that according to the content of this agreement, it seems that Fukuda has benefited a lot from it. But the above shows only a superficial state, Daimler may have deeper intentions in it.

As we all know, Daimler has always had a great expectation for the Chinese market, and this is the biggest driving force supporting its adherence to the joint venture with Foton. In this agreement, although the Auman brand is preserved, it is part of the low-end product. Appeared, but did not make any explanation on mid-high-end brands. According to Mercedes-Benz's position in the commercial vehicle market and Daimler's technical right to speak, it is highly likely that this brand will be left to Mercedes.

This clearly gives Daimler a retreat to enter into, and the withdrawal can be made in China's high-end market by fostering profit sharing by fostering the development of Auman's overseas markets when China's high-end market is not yet mature. At the time of maturity, the Mercedes-Benz brand was heavily attacked. At this time, when key patented technologies and brands were held by foreign joint venturers, China’s joint venture car companies would very likely become vassals of foreign auto companies. It is something Futian needs to watch out for.

From the letter of intent that Daifuku has not yet reached its final substantial result, it is clear that multinational truck companies are trying to plan their blueprints in China and even other overseas markets in a more long-term perspective, and they are still doing so. In the negotiations between Dongwo and Manchuria in China, this kind of thinking is very likely to run through them.

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