According to German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung, CEO Dieter Zetsche said Mercedes-Benz would choose this year between two or three locations it had shortlisted for a plant in Brazil.
Daimler’s decision to build locally comes from two directions – according to Zetsche it would not have been profitable to export compact cars to Brazil and they also want to benefit from growing demand for compact cars in the country.
“With the new compact class we have cars on offer that are attractive and can be produced at low costs, making them a good fit for this market,” Zetsche said. “It was simply a question of either producing in Brazil or not to be present there at all in this segment. Our decision is: We want to take part.”
Zetsche did not specify the model to be built there. Daimler defines its compact class as comprising the A-class and B-class as well as GLA and CLA models. Luxury carmakers are flocking to Brazil in an attempt to exploit growing demand. Brazil’s government complicated their plans, however, with an effort to protect local jobs by increasing a tax on foreign-made cars last year.