The full-cycle production at the GAZ Gorky Automobile Plant includes welding, painting, and assembly and rests on an investment of more than €190m by Daimler AG and GAZ.
Daimler AG and GAZ Group invested more than EUR 190 million to launch the local production of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic. This is 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.
Integration of the Mercedes-Benz light-duty vehicle production line into the GAZ infrastructure has been seamless due to GAZ Group’s extensive experience as the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Russia. GAZ Group’s proficiency has also enabled the company to build effective partnerships with local suppliers.
Bo Andersson GAZ Group President/CEO said, “The Gorky Automobile Plant has strong engineering and manufacturing traditions that have developed significantly in recent years when GAZ made a major breakthrough in updating its model range and improving product quality. This became the basis for the co-operation between GAZ Group and Daimler. 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”.
Volker Mornhinweg Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans division said, “Today is a special day for Mercedes-Benz Vans division and our partner, GAZ Group. The launch of the local production of Sprinter Classic is a significant step for the company in the rapidly developing Russian market. We offer our customers a vehicle that perfectly suits their needs”.
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 EUR 50 million 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. This helps to attract highly skilled specialists to Nizhny Novgorod and increases the appeal of the automotive industry to young Russians keen to receive training and working in high-tech production facilities.
The Sprinter Classic is made for Russia in Russia. It has the most valuable qualities of light commercial vehicle. It is a reliable and unpretentious product; “tailored” specifically for the Russian market and is available at an attractive initial price.