CHANGCHUN, China - DaimlerChrysler's plan to make trucks here in a joint venture with China's largest vehicle manufacturer may be in trouble.
Negotiations with First Automotive Works (FAW) in Changchun are stalled, said a senior FAW manager.
'The Chinese side has the impression that the DaimlerChrysler people are very arrogant,' the source said. 'This is not a good basis on which to negotiate a joint venture, and not a good base for doing business.'
In an interview last month, D/C commercial vehicles head Dieter Zetsche said he was optimistic about completing a commercial vehicles joint venture in China in the near future.
He did not name the partner or the range of vehicles under discussion.
Meanwhile, Chinese supplier sources say FAW is also negotiating with Volkswagen for the deal. VW already has a partnership with FAW to build passenger cars.
'It is very common for the Chinese to negotiate with two competitors about the same issue at the same time,' said a supplier source in China. 'Then they can play the two against each other, and secure the best deal.'
Erich Schmitt, VW group representative for China, said: 'We never talk about joint ventures before we have agreed on the deal and signed the contract. But we don't ignore what is going on [between FAW and our competitor]. It is not in our power to stop it happening, but believe me, we will try hard.'
He added: 'What VW could offer on the commercial truck side is more suitable for the Chinese needs than high-tech luxury trucks.'