GAZ to Build Mercedes Benz Sprinter in Russia

The love story between German manufacturer Mercedes Benz and several Russia companies continues, with the latest announcement regarding Mercedes' involvement with the local automotive industry coming like a Christmas present for a market so badly affected in 2009 by the economic crisis.

Mercedes Benz announced it has reached an agreement with local commercial vehicle manufacturer GAZ, which will see the latter assembling Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models at its Nizhny Novgorod plant.

The agreement comes with an EUR100 million investment attached, to be used for the local production of engines, transmissions, axles, and other components. Equipping the facility to accommodate production of the Sprinter will end sometime in 2011.

“Russia is an attractive place to invest with great opportunities for growth, and that’s why Daimler has made a long-term commitment to it. The partnership with GAZ underscores once again the fact that Daimler has come to stay and to achieve further growth,” said Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO.

Once all the work at the facility ends at the plant starts production, it will roll off the assembly lines, according to the plan laid down by the two new partners, around 25,000 units of the Sprinter each year.

“The cooperation will see GAZ´s existing LCV production facilities upgraded with employees receiving new training,”
GAZ Group president Bo Andersson added.

“All this will help to improve the consumer characteristics and the reliability of GAZ own models. It is expected that around 25,000 Sprinter vans will roll off the assembly line in Russia in a typical year. As GAZ and Mercedes-Benz LCVs largely target different customer groups, both companies expect to be able to develop successfully in their respective market segments in Russia.”
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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