STUTTGART (Reuters) -- Daimler has applied to the Russian city of St. Petersburg to set up a factory there, Interfax news agency reported, citing local officials.
St. Petersburg Vice-Governor Mikhail Mokretsov has assigned a municipal investment committee to handle Daimler's bid, Interfax said in a report today, adding that the authorities had already proposed a possible site in the Russian city's southern belt.
"There are no decisions at this point about the start of local production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Russia," a Daimler spokeswoman said. But Daimler keeps monitoring all markets, including Russia, with a view to setting up potential local capacities, she said, declining to elaborate.
Daimler is also negotiating with officials in Moscow about setting up a passenger-car factory, Interfax said, citing Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov.
The German group presently builds trucks with Russian partner Kamaz and partners with van maker GAZ to produce Mercedes-Benz vans.
Daimler's Mercedes-Benz is Russia's top-selling premium brand. Mercedes sales in the market increased by 12 percent through October to 40,673 units, according to data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses. BMW sales fell 15 percent to 28,777, while Audi sales were down 6 percent to 28,348.