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Auto Sales in Russia Suffer in April

Government offering incentives to entice buyers.

by on May.15, 2015

Sales have been slow at showrooms, like Moscow's Major mega-dealer, with little prospect for a quick turnaround.

On the heels of General Motors’ decision to pull up stakes in Russia, the country’s auto sales continued its dramatic descent in April dropping 41.5% despite the country subsidizing its auto loans.

According to the Association of European Businesses, the country sold 132,456 cars and commercial vehicles last month. The only upside for the country is that the top 10 sellers were all Russian carmakers.

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The result was a small improvement over the 42.5% loss in March. Year-to-date sales are 516,135 units: down 37.7%. (more…)

Renault Nissan Acquiring Control of Russia’s Avtovaz

Russia the next big opportunity for Japanese maker.

by on May.04, 2012

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn: back in the USSR or what's left of it.

While Nissan officials have been actively touting their aggressive plans for China they’ve also been negotiating behind the scenes to get a better position in the promising Russian market – a strategy now set to come together as Nissan and alliance partner Renault acquire a controlling stake in automaker Avtovaz.

Their new Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, would see Renault invest $300 million in the joint venture, Nissan kicking in another $450 million.  And it would help turn the once-decrepit Avtovaz plant in Togliatti into one of the largest automotive manufacturing centers in the world, capable of turning out 1.6 million vehicles annually.

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“Today’s memorandum is the latest step in an expanding collaboration that helps modernise the leader of Russia’s auto industry,” said Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Under the deal, which will become effective in 2014, Nissan and Renault products will roll down the Togliatti assembly line alongside Avtovaz models.  It is unclear if Nissan also will use the facility to produce some models badged under the re-born Datsun nameplate.


General Motors and Ford want American suppliers to follow them into Russia.

GM planning $1 billion investment in old Soviet heartland.

by on Jan.25, 2012

Cars move along Ford's assembly line in St. Petersburg.

General Motors is planning to invest more than $1 billion in Russia over the next five years, said James Bovenzi, managing director of GM Russia and CIS, and it expects production, including production by its joint venture partners, to double from 232,000 units in 2010 to more than 520,000 units in 2015.

But the maker doesn’t want to do it alone.  GM wants its traditional supply network to follow along.  And so do Ford, which sees significant growth potential of its own in Russia.

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“The reason we are there is we see opportunity,” Bovenzi said during a dinner meeting arranged by the U.S.-Russia Business Council to encourage American automotive suppliers to consider investments in Russia.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand in Russia” he noted. “The average vehicle is more than 10 years old.  The middle class is growing and nine of the 10 best-selling cars in Russia are foreign brands,” noted Bovenzi, adding GM’s Chevrolet brand was a top seller.