Stuttgart, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans are planned for production in Russia through a joint venture of Daimler and Russian commercial vehicle manufacturer GAZ. Plans also call for local production of engines, transmissions, axles and other components, to be used both in the Sprinter and in the GAZ product portfolio.

Pending the results of a technical feasibility study, the two companies will prepare GAZ’s Nizhny Novgorod production facility in 2011 for the joint production of vehicles and components. This will include modification of the existing facilities at the site, bringing new facilities to Russia, and training GAZ employees for new tasks.

It is expected that approximately 25,000 Sprinters will be built each year, sold and serviced through existing Mercedes-Benz dealers in Russia, with support of selected GAZ dealerships.

“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,” said Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars and CEO of Daimler. “The partnership with GAZ underscores once again the fact that Daimler has come to stay and to achieve further growth.”

About 117,000 midsize and large vans are sold in Russia each year, with the market expected to grow to 275,000 units by 2020.

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