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Mercedes to export E-Class from China

by Ronan Glon

The automaker might also export the C and the GLK.

Historically speaking, few automakers have exported cars from China. Most have focused on Chinese consumers' seemingly endless appetite for motor vehicles and used all of their production capacity to supply the local market.

Demand is starting to level out and automakers are increasingly looking to sell Chinese-built cars in new markets.

About a month ago, BMW announced that it would export the long-wheelbase 5-Series L. More recently, Honda said that it would send the Chinese-built Fit to Canadian showrooms.

Mercedes-Benz is about to jump on the bandwagon. The German automaker's Beijing Benz joint-venture announced at a conference held earlier this week that it will soon begin to export the long-wheelbase E-Class.

The long-wheelbase E is only built in China and is currently only sold there. It is five inches longer than the standard E sedan that is sold in the rest of the world.

Beijing Benz president Frank Deiss hopes that the long-wheelbase E will spearhead the joint-venture's expansion into new markets. That means that the C-Class and the GLK-Class could also be exported from China over the next couple of years.

Deiss did not specify which countries the lengthened E would be sold in. However, Mercedes is expected to follow the same path as BMW and start by exporting to neighboring countries and possibly the Middle East.

1.'Beijing Benz to...' view