The FINANCIAL — With effect from 1 July 2015, Zhou Liang (48) will succeed Wu Yuejun (52) and become new President and CEO of Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive (BFDA), the 50:50 joint venture between Daimler and Chinese truck manufacturer Foton.
The joint venture is producing and distributing Auman branded trucks in and primarily for China. With the appointment of Zhou Liang, Daimler is focusing on local know-how and a profound understanding of the market. Zhou Liang has been with Daimler since April 2014, and before that worked for seven years as the managing director of a Sino-European commercial vehicle joint venture. He started his career within the automobile industry at Foton, according to Daimler.
“Zhou Liang has extensive experience in the Chinese commercial vehicle business and understands exactly what market and customers want. He has all the attributes to successfully develop our truck business in the largest market in the world,” says Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for China, remarks: “The appointment of Zhou Liang shows our commitment of building the management team in our key market China with experienced local management talents. In a highly regional diversified business, we will undoubtedly benefit from his proven know-how and expertise.”
The nomination follows the fundamental principle behind the collaboration of Daimler and Foton to ideally combine the strengths of both companies. Therefore, BFDA is run by a Sino-German management team. The executive management of the 50:50 joint venture is comprised of equal numbers of representatives from Foton and Daimler.
“My goal is to further connect the great experience of Daimler Trucks as the world’s leading truck manufacturer with Foton’s deep understanding of the market. In this way our Chinese customers will benefit through even stronger products in future,” notes Zhou Liang.
Besides Zhou Liang, the other representatives of Daimler on the BFDA board are Harald Hauke (Production), Markus Schwill (Quality) and Jens Hamester (Research and Development). The representatives of Foton will be responsible for Finance, Procurement, HR, Sales and Marketing.
Daimler Trucks and Buses with two-pronged strategy in China
The trucks and buses division of Daimler pursues a two-pronged strategy in China: as part of the BFDA joint venture, Daimler together with Foton has been manufacturing medium- and heavy-duty trucks of the Auman brand since July 2012 for the volume segment, primarily in China. The legally independent company Daimler Trucks and Buses China (DTBC) imports and sells Mercedes-Benz trucks for the premium segment.
As the new DTBC president and CEO, Dr. Rainer Gaertner (49), currently Head of Daimler Trucks Korea, will succeed Robert Veit (47) on 1 July 2015, who will become “Director Mercedes-Benz Truck Overseas” in Germany.