Daimler said on Tuesday its Juiz de Fora plant in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais would next year start making the Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy and Accelo light trucks for Latin America.

The Actros is also made at Wörth in Germany and Aksaray in Turkey.

“The move will enable Mercedes-Benz do Brasil to respond more quickly and flexibly to the growing demand for trucks in Latin America,” Daimler said in a statement.

“Due to the rapid growth of the Brazilian economy, we expect truck sales to increase further in the coming years,” said Mercedes-Benz do Brasil president Jürgen Ziegler.

Investments in construction, mining, agriculture and the oil industry caused demand for heavy duty trucks in Brazil to increase 95 percent year on year in the first five months of 2010.

Stimulated in particular by an upswing in retail commerce, demand for light-duty trucks rose by about 45%.

Brazil is Mercedes’ largest truck market and, in the first five months of the year, it sold 45,174 units there, of which 18,047 units were made locally.

The truckmaker last March said it would expand commercial vehicle production to Juiz de Fora.

“The high [quality] of the employees and the modern installations of the Juiz de Fora plant encouraged us to expand the production… to also include this location,” added Ziegler.

“This step is particularly necessary because our main facility in São Bernardo do Campo will reach its production capacity limit in 2012.”

The demand for heavy-duty long-haul trucks in the premium segment is currently developing as favorably in Turkey as in Brazil. The company said in April it would also begin manufacturing the Actros at the Aksaray plant at the end of the year so that it would be able to respond quickly and flexibly to the increasing demand there.

Since opening in 1956, São Bernardo do Campo has built around 1.2m trucks and 540,000 buses.