Daimler AG’s Chinese joint venture with BAIC Motor Corp., Beijing Benz Automotive Co. is expected to export long wheelbase variants of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class to ASEAN countries, reports Automotive News China.
The Chinese publication reported that BAIC’s Chairman Xu Heyi revealed to the Chinese press last week that the two models will be exported to Southeast Asia, but not elaborate further.
He said that at an event marking the joint venture's 10th anniversary in China.
China is the only country that manufactures long wheelbase variants of the C-Class and E-Class, primarily for domestic sales.
The stretched C-Class, known as the C-Class L in China, has an 8 cm longer wheelbase, while the stretched E-Class L’s wheelbase has been extended by 14 cm.
As Beijing Benz only manufactures left-hand drive models, we don’t expect a stretched C-Class or E-Class model to be coming to Malaysia anytime soon.
Xu was most likely referring to Vietnam, a very important emerging market for Mercedes-Benz in ASEAN, or other left-hand drive markets like the Philippines, and Cambodia.