GAZ Group says it has expanded its cooperation with Daimler and begun the production of stamped body parts for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans. The first stamped parts have already been shipped to the GAZ Mercedes assembly line that makes Sprinter vans.
There are plans to export Mercedes-Benz Sprinter components produced by GAZ to foreign aftermarkets, the company says.
Components for Daimler are produced by GAZ frame-pressing facility with new automated equipment and tooling supplied from Germany and Argentina. GAZ said the facility employees have received training at European and Russian plants producing stamped parts for Daimler. Currently preparations are being carried out at the frame-pressing facility for its ISO TS 16949 certification.
Stamped body parts for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles produced at GAZ, used to be imported. Through the use of locally produced components Daimler will be able to raise the local content level.
Daimler components production was the first major contract for body parts stamping signed between GAZ Group and a global automaker. This cooperation expands the list of automotive components projects that GAZ Group implements jointly with global automakers that have assembly plants in Russia. In particular, GAZ has a joint venture with Bosal producing exhaust systems (the products are supplied to Volkswagen and Skoda assembly plants in Russia), recently GAZ established a JV to produce fasteners with Swedish company Bulten, a supplier of major foreign automakers, GAZ Group also produces frames for Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUVs and has been nominated as a supplier of crankshaft castings for Ford Sollers engine plant. Production of engines for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles has been set up at GAZ Group's Yaroslavl engine plant.
Implementing these projects allows the company to set up component manufacturing facilities economically at its production sites.
Foreign vehicle manufacturers in Russia face a significant challenge to raise local content under the Russian government's rules.