Daimler and GAZ Start Implementation of Mercedes-Benz Vans Manufacturing in Russia

Daimler and GAZ Start Implementation of Mercedes-Benz Vans Manufacturing in Russia

Daimler AG and Russian commercial vehicle manufacturer GAZ Group, a part of Russia's biggest business group Basic Element, have started implementation of the project to set up Mercedes-Benz Sprinter production at Gorky Automobile Plant in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

The companies are cooperating under the terms of the agreement that came into force in May 2012 after a number of prerequisites agreed upon by the partners had been met. The signing brought the negotiations, which had commenced after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the end of 2010, to a successful conclusion.

The parties plan to localize the well-proven Mercedes-Benz Sprinter T1N, as well as the engine and other components. In its partnership with GAZ, Daimler will invest more than €100 million in the product adjustment, production processes and sales network. GAZ Group will invest over €90 million in the project.

In the framework of cooperation both companies are also planning to localize Mercedes-Benz engines at GAZ Group’s production site in Yaroslavl. GAZ Group’s new plant conforming to the advanced international standards was constructed at the end of 2011 to produce YaMZ-530 Euro-4 engines.

According to experts, Russia will become one of the world’s largest sales markets in the midsize and large van segments by 2020 with the annual volume of around 300,000 units. Russia’s market volume for this segment today is already about 150,000 units.

Start of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter production at GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod is scheduled for the first half of 2013. GAZ has started preparation of its production facilities for the joint project. GAZ employees are being trained at Daimler plants in Germany.

Daimler will organize the vehicles sales and service through the existing Mercedes-Benz dealership network, which will grow significantly in the future.

Plans also call for local production of engines and other Mercedes-Benz Sprinter components