Sprinter vansRussian automotive manufacturer Gaz has started supplying stamped body parts and structural components for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans, which are being assembled at Gaz’s plant in Nizhny Novgorod. The move marks a shift from the supply of parts from Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf, Germany, which have been shipped to Nizhny Novgorod since production of the Sprinter began there in July 2013

Gaz is making the body parts and components at its frame pressing facility, which is also based in Nizhny Novgorod. It is also handling the delivery of the parts between that facility and the assembly plant. It means Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler will be able to increase the level of localized parts under the requirements of Decree 166, the Russian government directive under which foreign carmakers are obliged to increase local content in at least 30% of the vehicles they make in Russia by next year.

Gaz already makes engines for the Sprinter at its Yaroslavl plant.

Furthermore, the Russian company is now making parts for the aftermarket in Russia and there are plans to expand this aftermarket supply to foreign markets where the Sprinter is sold.

The latest development with Daimler expands the number of contract supply agreements Gaz has for parts supply with foreign carmakers producing in Russia. Other contracts include those with parts supplier Bosal for exhaust system supply to VW Group assembly plants in the country. GAZ also produces frames for Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUVs and has been nominated as a supplier of crankshaft castings for Ford Sollers engine plant.

“In order to receive the title of a Daimler supplier we had to compete with world's leaders in stamping production,” said Kirill Epstein, Gaz’s autocomponent division director. “We were able to win through offering the best manufacturing practices and technical capabilities, high qualification of our specialists, flexible management of production costs, which allows to ensure a competitive end-user price of the product.”