Daimler Opens Mercedes-Benz Plant In Moscow Region

The plant in the town of Esipovo 40 kilometers north west of Moscow is the first in years to be opened by a foreign carmaker in Russia.

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The plant in the town of Esipovo 40 kilometers north west of Moscow.

German automaker Daimler officially opened a Mercedes-Benz factory near Moscow on Wednesday at a ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin, marking a rare foreign investment into Russia's car industry. The plant in the town of Esipovo 40 kilometers north west of Moscow is the first in years to be opened by a foreign carmaker in Russia where investment into the once burgeoning auto industry dried up amid western sanctions and a stagnant economy.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Putin said the plant would produce 25,000 cars a year and that investment in the project had totaled 19 billion roubles ($291 million).

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Mercedes-Benz Cars

Putin said the factory, built after Daimler signed a deal with Russia's authorities in early 2017, would employ almost 1,000 people.

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Most global automakers opened plants in Russia in the first half of the 2000s, but after peaking in 2012 car sales slumped to a ten-year low of 1.42 million in 2016. The market is picking up again, and a total of 1.8 million cars were sold last year.

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