Mercedes-Benz intends to expand its existing Russian supplier network following a forum held in Moscow.

A ground breaking ceremony for a new passenger car plant was held last June and the first vehicles are due off line in 2019.

The automaker is now is seeking to prepare potential suppliers for its production in Russia.

"We will produce our best sellers for the regional market at the new plant on a fully flexible basis. To do so, we count on local partners that provide us with top quality and innovations. Thus we are following our general localisation strategy to buy materials, where our production operations are based", said Klaus Zehender, Mercedes' head of procurement and supplier quality.

Local suppliers could eventually be given the opportunity to export components to other plants world wide, he added.  The ministry of industry and trade provided Daimler with a list of potential suppliers.

In addition to 100 Russian suppliers, forum participants included local representatives from politics and business as well as Mercedes-Benz purchasing, quality and production executives.

Plant construction is under way with outlines of the production building, paint shop and administration building clearly seen already.

Mercedes-Benz has been present in Russia since 2010 with production operations for vans and trucks and already has an existing supplier network.

Car production will start with the E-Class saloon, followed by GLE, GLC and GLS SUVs.