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Putin opens new Mercedes-Benz assembly plant near Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the opening ceremony on Wednesday of a new Daimler factory in the Moscow Region that will assemble premium class Mercedes-Benz passenger cars for the domestic market.

The president visited the assembly line, test area, as well as the paint and body shop. After talking to several employees, Putin signed the hood of one of the new vehicles.

The new plant, built by German automaker Daimler AG on an 85-hectare plot of land, is located at the Esipovo Industrial Park, about 40 kilometers north of Moscow. The production line is equipped with full flexible assembly technology that enables manufacturing of a large number of vehicles on a single assembly line. The plant covers all production stages, from the paint shop to the final assembly.

Construction of Daimler’s new plant began in the middle of 2017 shortly after the automaker signed the guaranteed investment contract (GIC) with the Russian authorities. The agreement, which is seen as a form of government support, provides favorable tax environment with tax burden to remain the same during an in-force period.

Total investments in the project reportedly amounted to 15 billion rubles (about US$250 million). The new plant will assemble E-Class, S-Class, A-Class model sedans as well as ML and GL models. The factory is planning to produce about 25,000 cars annually for the domestic market. The enterprise has reportedly created over a thousand of jobs for the local population.

The German automaker currently operates a joint venture with KAMAZ, which produces trucks under the Mercedes-Benz brand in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan. Daimler owns a 15-percent stake in the enterprise. The company also owns an assembly line for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic minibuses at the Nizhny Novgorod facilities of Russian auto maker GAZ Group.

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