Daimler has selected GAZ as a partner in Russia and plans to invest more than €100 million in production of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in Nizhny Novgorod
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends official presentation of the project
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO: “The van market in Russia offers great growth opportunities. GAZ as the market leader in the van segment is the right partner for us to be successful in Russia.”
Nizhny Novgorod/Stuttgart – Daimler and the Russian commercial vehicle manufacturer GAZ signed a memorandum of understanding today in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The aim is to produce Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans in Russia. Plans also call for local production of engines, transmissions, axles, and other components, which will then be used in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and in the GAZ product portfolio.
Pending positive findings of a technical feasibility study, Mercedes-Benz Vans and GAZ will begin preparing the Nizhny Novgorod production location in 2011 for the joint production of vehicles and components. This will involve modification of the existing light commercial vehicles production facilities at the site, bringing new facilities to Russia, and training GAZ employees for their new tasks. After production is launched, it is expected that about 25,000 units of the Sprinter will roll off the assembly line in Russia in a typical year. Daimler will organize sales and servicing of the vehicles through the existing Mercedes-Benz dealership network, with support of the selected GAZ dealerships.
At the official presentation of the project, Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said alongside Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, “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.”
Siegfried Wolf, Chairman of the OAO GAZ Board of Directors, commented, “Cooperation with Daimler will allow GAZ to attract new technologies, to create new jobs, and to develop a modern automotive component base in Russia. It falls within the Russian Government drive to increase the automotive industry’s share of the GDP and to improve our manufacturing capacities and technologies.”
At the signing of the memorandum of understanding, Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, underscored the decision to launch local production in Russia: “For Mercedes-Benz Vans Russia remained an unexplored market. Our traditional markets are in Western Europe, Latin America, and North America. In Russia the market volume for midsized and large vans is about 117,000 units. By 2020 the market is expected to grow to approximately 275,000 units. That shows how important and right it is to be active in Russia. Together with GAZ we will put the optimal products for the Russian market on the road. To do this, Daimler AG will invest more than €100 million.”
Bo Andersson, President of GAZ Group, said, “The cooperation will see GAZ´s existing LCV production facilities upgraded with employees receiving new training. 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”.
Oleg Deripaska, the head of Basic Element, majority owner of GAZ, commented: “I warmly welcome the cooperation between GAZ and Daimler, which puts both companies in a strong position to take advantage of Russia’s growing automotive market and to meet the future trends of the industry. This cooperation also reflects the growing level of integration between Russian and international economies”.
Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ) is Russia's largest producer of commercial vehicles of 2.8 to 8.2 GVW. GAZ' share of the Russian commercial vehicles market exceeds 50%. GAZ brand distribution and service network is the largest in Russia in terms of sales and commercial vehicles servicing. It comprises 260 dealerships, as well as 240 service stations in Russia and the CIS. Gorky Automobile Plant is the main production asset of GAZ Group.
GAZ Group is one of the largest automotive holdings in the country. The company comprises 18 production plants in ten regions of Russia. GAZ Group produces light commercial vehicles, heavy trucks, buses, cars, road construction equipment, powertrain and auto components. GAZ Group was one of the first in Russia to implement at its facilities 'lean manufacturing' principles, based on Toyota production system. Application of the new production system enabled productivity to be increased four-fold throughout the company's plants. GAZ Group is headquartered in Nizhny Novgorod. 'Russian Machines' engineering holding is the core shareholder in the company. Further information on GAZ Group and GAZ is available on the Internet at www.gazgroup.ru