Demand in emerging markets won’t soon help offset a recent collapse in sales in industrial countries, Daimler Trucks’s head has said.

“I don’t expect big sales figures in the near future but we need these (emerging) markets in five years,” Andreas Renschler told Reuters.

He also warned against grouping all emerging economies in one basket, as customer needs were different depending on the country.

“The BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India and China) cannot be viewed as one and the same. The Russian market is the closest to ours in terms of technology,” he said.

Daimler has bought a 10% stake in Russia’s Kamaz and is partnering in China with Beiqi Foton in a 50:50 joint venture to sell 100,000 heavy trucks a year from 2012 to 2015.

“After all negotiations are finished we will start with building an engine factory in China. Two years later the first trucks could run off the assembly line with our engines,” Renschler told the news agency.

Daimler Truck‘s Indian truck partner, the Hero Group, last April dropped out of a joint venture agreed just five months earlier after the economic crisis forced it to focus on its core business, motorcycle maker Hero Honda .

“We are now on the search for a new distribution partner. Local production (in Chennai) will begin as planned in 2012,” Renschler said.