Mercedes has reiterated its intentions of setting up shop in Russia by opening a new plant, even though the local car market has plummeted.

Mercedes has reiterated its intentions of setting up shop in Russia by opening a new plant, even though the local car market has plummeted.

Daimler CEO, Dieter Zetsche, told Automotive News Europe this week in Detroit the company needs a factory in Russia to match the “remarkable” sales performances achieved by Mercedes. He mentioned the new assembly plant is “something we are pursuing” since Mercedes is the top-selling premium marque with an overall market share of 2.67 percent.

That being said, car sales in Russia decreased by a whopping 35% to 1,454,253 units through November last year compared to the same period of 2014. Mercedes deliveries in the January - November 2015 interval were down by 14% to 38,797, but even so Daimler believes there’s a serious business case to have a factory in the country. It's important to mention the sales figures don't come from Mercedes as these are provided by a lobby group based in Moscow.

Last time we heard, Daimler was thinking about opening a plant in St. Petersburg, Kazan, or in Sverdlovsk. Some industry analysts are saying it would be better for Daimler to establish a partnership with an existing manufacturer rather than opening up a brand new plant. BMW is already doing this with Avtotor that makes a variety of models in Kaliningrad using kits. With Russian car sales estimated to decrease by another 14% this year, perhaps it makes more sense for Daimler to save money and make an alliance with a contract manufacturer.

Source: europe.autonews.com

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