GAZ Group, billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s automaker, agreed to assemble Mercedes Sprinter vans in Russia with Daimler, as GAZ seeks to expand production of light commercial vehicles.
The companies will invest 100 million euros ($132 million) in the project at GAZ’s plant in Nizhny Novgorod, which will start production at the end of 2011, Dmitry Levchenkov, a department head in Economic Development Ministry, said Monday. Output may reach 60,000 vehicles a year, he said.
Daimler, the world’s biggest truck manufacturer, is expanding in emerging markets to take advantage of growing demand for commercial vehicles. The automaker estimates that the market for medium and heavy-duty trucks will increase in Russia, India and China by more than 10 percent a year between 2009 and 2020.