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DaimlerChrysler to Expand China Operation

DaimlerChrysler AG plans to expand its 2-month-old auto-financing operation in China in an effort to boost sales, and the maker of Jeep and Mercedes Benz vehicles is ready for higher default rates than in developed countries,

Foreign automakers including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. of the United States already offer financing, but the industry is still considered to be in its infancy in China.

DaimlerChrysler hopes to make 3,000 sales next year with financing, said Wolf Bay, president of the company’s Chinese financing arm. He said the company expected default rates in China of about 3 percent, compared with 1 to 1.5 percent in developed countries.

DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes Benz limousines are known in China as the vehicle of senior officials and the rich. But the company is trying to build its share of the market for lower-priced vehicles as well.

DaimlerChrysler launched its Chinese financing arm in September.

The company plans to focus on Beijing, Shanghai and the southern business capital of Guangzhou at first, but move to other cities next year, Bay said.

The company also could get into vehicle leasing once Chinese regulations allow that, said Jurgen Walker, chairman of DaimlerChrysler Auto Financing.

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Wed. April 17th, 2024

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