The new Mercedes-Benz plant in a Moscow region.

At a ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin, German machine Daimler officially opened a Mercedes-Benz plant near Moscow this Wednesday, marking a rare foreign investment in Russia’s automotive industry.

In Russia, where investment in the newly-offing automotive industry was said between western sanctions and a stagnant economy, a factory in the town of Esipovo 40 kilometers northwest of Moscow is the first in years to be opened by a foreign producer.

Investing in this project had reached 19 billion rubles ($ 291 million) and speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Putin said the plant would produce 25,000 cars a year.

Putin said the factory, built after Daimler signed an agreement with Russia authorities in early 2017, would hire almost 1,000 people.

Most global vehicles launched plants in Russia in the first half of 2000, but after rising in 2012, car sales fell to a low of 1.42 million in 2016. The market is growing again and a total of 1.8 million cars sold in the year past./


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