Mercedes parent Daimler reportedly continues searching for a local production partner. That would allow the automaker to sidestep the Russian government’s recent ban on state purchases of imported cars.
One analysis suggests limited capacity, possible loss of government support, devaluation of the ruble and other factors may prompt global automakers to halt assembly operations in Russia and instead focus on imports.
Industry analysts say Daimler is in dire need of a local production base, given the government’s recent decision to ban the purchase by state bodies and agencies of any cars produced outside the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
A government official says the significant hike in state aid is related to the continuing decline of the Russian market, adding there are no plans to provide direct financial support to automakers because of World Trade Organization restrictions.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan say the new tariff is meant to protect local auto makers against losses associated with significant increases of imports from the EU and in particular Germany, Italy and Turkey, in recent years.
Dennis Williams does not seem convinced complete wage parity will occur, as he talks about “bridging” the gap between the two levels and stresses that the automakers must continue to be successful....More
WardsAuto editors gather for a roundtable discussion of several EV and hybrid vehicles vying for 2015 Ward's 10 Best Engines honors. Vehicles discussed include: BMW i3 (range extender and pure EV), Fiat 500e, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Soul EV, Lexus NX, Volkswagen e-Golf....More