May 20, 2008 / 10:35 AM / 11 years ago

Mercedes eyes production facility in Romania

BUCHAREST, May 20 (Reuters) - Daimler AG’s (DAIGn.DE) premium division Mercedes Benz is in talks with Romania’s government to set up a car making plant in the western county of Timis, local authorities said on Tuesday. “In two, three weeks it (the decision on Timis location) will be a certainty,” Marius Popovici, deputy chief of the Timis county council told Reuters by telephone.

Local media in Romania reported earlier this year that Daimler may be interested in opening a facility in the northwestern city of Cluj, where Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia NOK1V.HE has built a new production plant.

And on Tuesday, papers quoted the Romanian minister for small and medium-sized firms Ovidiu Silaghi as saying the German carmaker seems to have now picked Timis. The government spokeswoman said she did not confirm his statements.

“The German partners have held talks at the highest level with the government representatives on setting up a plant here,” Popovici said.

He added a potential site of the plant may be located just to the north of Timisoara city, close to the border with Serbia and Hungary, and to a stretch of a planned motorway linking Romania with Hungary.

Earlier this month, Daimler’s Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told a German newspaper the company would probably decide in the second quarter where to build a new plant for Mercedes compact cars, with a site in eastern Europe the most likely spot.

Daimler has a market value of 53 billion euros, according to Reuters data, and production facilities in 17 countries. (Reporting by Radu Marinas, editing by Will Waterman)

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