Daimler eyes first Russian car plant

Germany’s Daimler is considering building its first passenger-car plant in Russia, a spokeswoman said, counting on the country’s troubled economy to rebound in coming years.

“We are in talks with the Russian government to verify whether the economic requirements for local car production are fulfilled,” a spokeswoman at Daimler said.

Daimler declined comment on when the talks might yield a decision, the number of cars to be built at the site or the level of investment.

Stuttgart-based Daimler will spend about 200 million euros ($224 million) on the new site, where it aims to assemble as many as 30,000 sport-utility vehicles per year from imported kits, Germany’s business daily Handelsblatt reported late on Tuesday, citing unnamed industry sources.

Russia’s volume car market has been in decline for some time, grappling with plunging oil prices, a weak rouble and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

But analysts have said pent-up demand may cause the market to rebound in coming years.

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