Mercedes-Benz RUS, part of Daimler AG, and GAZ Group, part of Basic Element, one of Russia’s largest diversified industrial groups, have started production of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic vans in Russia.
The full-cycle production at the GAZ Gorky Automobile Plant includes welding, painting, and assembly.
Daimler AG and GAZ Group invested more than Eu190m to launch the local production of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, one of the largest investment projects in recent years in the Russian automotive industry.
The project will create new jobs, improve the skills of GAZ employees, and will enable local production of automotive components in Russia.
Bo Andersson GAZ Group President/CEO said: “The joint project will allow us to upgrade technology and strengthen our position in the commercial vehicles market. Given that GAZ and Mercedes vehicles are focused on different consumer audiences, both companies will get the opportunity to successfully develop in their segments.”
To facilitate production of Sprinter Classic vehicles at GAZ about 90,000 square meters of production and logistics facilities have been upgraded.
These upgrades include the launch of a new painting complex produced by the German company Eisenmann, a leading international provider of systems for the automotive industry. The new painting complex has capacity to produce more than 10 bodies per hour and offers 11 colors of paint. Nearly Eu50m has been invested in technology to ensure vehicle painting at the GAZ plant in compliance with Daimler’s standards and this will also be applied during production of the GAZ model range.
To ensure the consistency of the vehicles at each stage of production in Nizhny Novgorod, a system of quality control of components and finished products has been developed according to Daimler regulation. The specialists at GAZ Group have been trained in Germany and continue to improve their skills under the supervision of German colleagues.
As a result of the collaboration, new jobs have been created at both GAZ Group and the suppliers.
About the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic
Sprinter Classic vehicles will be equipped with modern eco-friendly OM646 diesel engines manufactured in Russia with high torque and low fuel consumption. The mechanical TSG gearbox (specialized transmission for Mercedes-Benz light-duty vehicles) of new Sprinter Classic is adapted for Russia and specific loads.
Sprinter Classic vehicles are ‘Vans. Born to run’ and according to Mercedes-Benz are renowned for their reliability, durability and resistance to high loads. The Sprinter Classic is one of the safest vehicles in its class; even the base configuration of the vehicle is equipped with the latest generation Electronic Stability Program ESP 9.i, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), anti-slip regulation (ASR), as well as a driver’s airbag.