Star-crossed: Mercedes faces dilemma over dependence on Russia and China

Moscow provides Germany with power, and the Chinese buy the company’s cars in their thousands, but now war and global tensions are darkening the diplomatic weather

A brand new, gleaming Mercedes vehicle rolls off the production line roughly every three minutes at the carmaker’s Rastatt plant in south-western Germany.

A total of 185,000 of its upmarket A-Class, B-Class and all-electric EQA cars were assembled here last year in the factory, close to the French border. They are then taken by road, rail and ship to their new owners, perhaps to zip through European capitals, Chinese cities, or along California’s coastal roads.

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