Daimler Still Keen On Russian Factory Despite Market Slowdown

Despite the market as a whole being hit hard last year in Russia, Daimler is still eager in building a new plant for its Mercedes-Benz brand.

During 11 months of 2015, new vehicle sales in Russia nosedived 35 per cent to 1.4 million total units due to the falling value of the ruble. While car sales overall have fallen significantly, sales of luxury cars haven’t been affected as badly as more mainstream models and last year, Mercedes was easily the country’s top-selling premium brand. As a matter of fact, it sold 38,797 cars compared to runner-up BMW which shifted 25,349 units.

When asked by Automotive News Europe about Daimler’s intended Russian plant, the company’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche said “Yes, that is something we are pursuing.”

Apparently, Daimler is considering having its unit in St. Petersburg, Kazan or Sverdlovsk. While it is believed that the company’s plans are quite progressed, it isn’t known yet if it intends on building a factory and cars solely by itself or establish an alliance with a local contract manufacturer instead.

BMW has already chosen the latter, partnering up with Avtotor to build the 3-, 5- and 7-Series as well as the X1, X3, X4, X5 and X6.