Daimler says new Beijing plant has potential capacity to build 350,000 Mercedes cars

Daimler's China boss, Hubertus Troska, presents the long-wheelbase C class at the Beijing auto show,
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BEIJING (Reuters) -- Daimler can expand production capacity at its Beijing plant to 350,000 vehicles a year if customer demand calls for it, said Rene Reif, the head of manufacturing at Beijing Benz Automotive.

Daimler is expanding the plant before it starts making its long-wheelbase Mercedes C-class model, a new car tailored to China.

The factory built 120,000 Mercedes-Benz cars in 2013. It currently makes mainly E- and C-class sedans and will soon add the GLA compact SUV.

By the end of 2014, production capacity in Beijing will be about 140,000 cars, Reif said here on Monday.

The China push forms part of Daimler's global expansion plan which involves producing the new C class in the United States, China and South Africa, following the start of production of the model in Bremen, Germany, this year.

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