BEIJING, March 11 BAIC Group, Daimler AG's
China partner, will expand into small aircraft
manufacturing, a business that is expected to generate 10
billion yuan ($1.61 billion) in revenue for the company next
year, a media report said on Monday.
BAIC, which signed an initial joint venture deal with
Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in late 2011,
is making the move as the Chinese government is expected in May
to open low altitude airspace, BAIC's chairman, Xu Heyi, was
quoted as saying in the Securities Daily.
BAIC officials could not be reached for comment by Reuters.
BAIC currently makes trucks and Mercedes-Benz cars in
partnership with Daimler. It also builds its own-branded vans
and passenger cars, including some environmentally-friendly
($1 = 6.2147 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Kazunori Takada in
SHANGHAI; Editing by Matt Driskill)