Mercedes-Benz Vans celebrated 10 years in China with its joint venture Fujian Benz Automotive (FBAC). The division held a ceremony at the FBAC plant in Fuzhou in south-east China.

China is the world’s largest automobile market and now one of the main growth drivers for the vans unit. In the first eight months of this year, Mercedes-Benz Vans sold over 15,000 vehicles in China, up 80% year on year.

The first Viano and Vito models rolled off the production line in Fuzhou a decade ago. The plant was extended in 2013 to include the division’s first research & development centre outside Germany, focused on models locally produced and marketed.

Fujian Benz Automotive spent around EUR200m (CNY1.4bn) on local production of the new mid-size V-Class and Vito which were launched in China in 2016. In recent months, FBAC doubled its network to 160 dealers across China, achieved by including car dealers.

FBAC is a joint venture of Daimler and Chinese partners BAIC Motor and Fujian Motor Industry Group.