OREANDA-NEWS. The Russian plant for the production of passenger cars Mercedes - Benz officially opened on Wednesday, April 3. The ceremony was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG Dieter Zetsche, German Minister of Economics and Energy Peter Altmayer.

A full - cycle plant (welding, painting) Mercedes-Benz was built in the Esipovo industrial park located in the Moscow Region. The capacity of the enterprise is 25,000 cars per year. E - class sedans and crossovers will be produced here - as expected, these will be GLE, GLS and GLC.

The construction of the automobile plant was carried out for 1.5 years. Investments amounted to 19 billion rubles, Putin and Zetsche said. The plant will have more than 1,000 employees, half of them have already been hired.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the plant, Putin stressed that Mercedes - Benz cars have the highest quality and "your humble servant" also traveled on cars of this brand, representatives of the Russian authorities "used and still use". Putin drove up to the plant in the Aurus limousine developed in Russia.

The place chosen for construction is explained by the neighborhood with Moscow (Russia's largest automotive regional market), developed transport infrastructure, labor force, space for growth, said Markus Schaefer, member of the board of Mercedes - Benz Cars division, in 2017.

The project was implemented as part of a special investment contract, which, in exchange for investments, guarantees the stability of tax conditions, gives access to government support measures. The partner in the investment contract is KAMAZ, which has production of heavy trucks jointly with Daimler - DK Rus.

Local production in full cycle mode will allow Mercedes - Benz to participate in public procurement. In 2017, this opportunity was lost by the cars produced by the large - unit method in Russia, the cars of the main competitors of Mercedes - Benz  -  German BMW (assembled in Kaliningrad) and Audi (in Kaluga).

The design capacity of the automobile plant is close to the current sales of these models in Russia - 23,901 pcs. in 2018. In the future, if necessary, the production at the existing site can be increased to 35,000 vehicles per year. In total, in 2018 in Russia, 36,189 new Mercedes - Benz passenger cars were registered - an increase of 5%. The top three best selling models of the brand are GLC (7515 units), E-class (6851 units) and GLE (5991 units).