The facility will be located in Obninsk in the Kaluga region, around 70 km southwest of Moscow.

Construction will begin in 2013 and the start of operations is planned for early 2014. At a later stage, Mahle production units may also be localized at the site.

The production of light vehicles (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) in Russia was at 2.1 million vehicles in 2011, with total vehicle sales reaching 2.6 million units. Mahle forecasts assume an annual average growth in vehicle sales of between 4-5% up to 2017.

There are approximately 40 million vehicles currently registered in Russia. Of these vehicles, about eight million are between five and ten years old and about 15 million over ten years old. This decline in the average age of registered vehicles and increase in the number of vehicles in use to 51 million by 2017 will lead to an increased demand for quality spare parts, the company says.

“In recent years, we were able to continually optimize the Mahle Aftermarket sales network in Russia and Belarus and bring the business volume to a level that justifies a regional office in Russia,” said Arnd Franz, head of the aftermarket business unit at Mahle. “In the future, we anticipate a significant increase in our market share through our regional presence and the shorter distances to our customers in all regions of Russia and Belarus.”