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German automakers eye US market

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German automakers eye US market
Photo: DPA
17:16 CET+01:00
German automakers have big plans for the US market, several news reports suggested on Sunday.

Not only do they plan to promote diesel cars, but luxury car maker Mercedes Benz just announced a new joint effort to produce engines in the US and Volkswagen is pushing for two years of double digit growth there.

Mercedes announced a collaboration with the Japanese auto giant Nissan on Sunday to build four-cylinder gasoline engines at an assembly plant in Decherd, Tennessee. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with 250,000 engines expected to be rolled out each year when the plant is up to full capacity, a statement said.

It is being hailed as their biggest joint project outside Europe.

Meanwhile Volkswagen has set ambitious goals for American sales this year, saying it wants to sell more than 500,000 vehicles in the States.

Last year the auto giant sold 444,192 cars in the US, an increase of 23 percent. VW profited in 2011 from the production of a Passat that was specially designed for the US market and produced at its plant in Chattanooga, also in Tennessee.

The car was introduced in September and posted sales of 23,000 by year's end.

The German automakers' news comes a day before the opening of the Detroit Auto Show, considered the most important auto trade show for the US market.

The Local/AFP/DPA/mw

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