It appears Daimler has finally made up its mind over a car plant in Russia and it has started talks with the government.
The German premium auto group has been eying Russia for a possible new car plant for some time now, even if the local economy is going backwards, severely affecting the car auto market. Back in January, Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche said he remained optimistic over Russia’s perspectives and Daimler is still determined to build a plant in the country to further support the expanding of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
However, according to some media reports earlier this year, the automaker has also considered a site in Poland for a new facility for building real-wheel-drive high-end models, based on the MRA modular architecture. But a Daimler spokeswoman recently decided to shed some light over the matter, finally confirming Russia as the company’s next target. “We are in talks with the Russian government to verify whether the economic requirements for local car production are fulfilled,” she said.
The German business daily Handelsblatt has brought further details over the plan, by reporting this week that the company aims to spend about 200 million euros (224 million dollars) to make 30,000 SUVs per year from imported kits in Russia. A contract is expected to be signed in the following weeks. So far this year, the Russian auto market dropped by 15 percent to 548,119 vehicles, while Mercedes’ sales fell 17 percent to 15,830 units.
Via Automotive News