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Daimler to Take 10% Stake in Russian Truck Maker

Date:2008-12-18

Defying the auto industry gloom, Daimler AG Friday said it will pay $250 million for a 10% stake in Russian truck maker Kamaz as it seeks to ramp up its presence in emerging markets.

It could pay a further $50 million for the stake, depending on Kamaz's sales and profit performance.

At a press conference in Moscow, the companies said joint projects could begin early next year. They will also look at possible of strategic partnerships.

Kamaz is the leading seller of heavy-duty trucks in Russia and sold about 53,000 vehicles last year. It posted revenue of $3.8 billion and has a market share around 30%.

Daimler's truck division is the world's largest truck maker by sales and comprises the Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Mitsubishi Fuso and Western Star brands, as well as Thomas Built Buses. Daimler's trucks division last year sold 467,667 vehicles and posted ?28.5 billion ($37.9 billion) in revenue.

In order to expand in emerging markets, Daimler is set to invest about $1.1 billion over the next five years together with India's Hero Group to build trucks and buses in the Indian market.

Daimler truck chief Andreas Renschler last month confirmed that the company will expand its presence in global growth markets, "even in the face of more intense competition … The financial crisis may slow down progress in the transportation sector, but it cannot stop it."

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