Daimler AG is recognized as the biggest manufacturer of trucks worldwide, and now it is expanding its Russian commercial-vehicle presence by manufacturing Sprinter vans as part of a partnership with OAO GAZ of billionaire Oleg Deripaska.
Automotive News reported the endeavor entails around $131 million in investments from Daimler in order to make the plant ready to produce a planned 250,000 units of the delivery van annually. The GAZ plant can be found in Nizhny Novgorod.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said that the Russian commercial-vehicle market “is offering major growth prospects,” and of course it would be foolish to ignore such an opportunity. That’s why Daimler is capitalizing on the emerging market in the country, and by 2020 it expects Russia to demand 275,000 units of light commercial vehicles each year. The Russian market currently draws 177,000 units currently.
Currently, Daimler is really enjoying its dominance over the light truck segment. Sales in Brazil, China, India and Russia have increased by 64% over recent eight-month figures. Sales have increased by 27% over a nine-month period, and the van unit of the company saw a 28% increase over the past eight months. Total revenue also increased, thanks largely to a 44% increase in production to 160,000 vehicles.