Eugene Gerden


Eugene Gerden writes about the Russian auto industry from his base in St. Petersburg.

Ford Deploys New Models in Battle for Russia Market 
Government analysts note while the automaker’s updating of its local product range is overdue, they do not expect the new Focus and Mondeo to significantly increase sales in the short or middle term.
Russia’s January Sales Slump May Set Pace for Year 
Sales of several premium models increased in 2014, but even that segment is not expected to avoid this year’s gloomy outlook as the ruble continues to lose value and interest rates climb.
Nissan Capacity Expansion Defies Russian Slowdown 
Nissan last fall launched production of a hybrid version of its fourth-generation Pathfinder CUV at St. Petersburg, making the plant the first in Russia to build a hybrid engine.
GM Russia Hoping SUVs Shore Up St. Petersburg Plant 
The automaker is adding the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe to a production schedule comprising a third SUV, the Chevrolet Trailblazer, and the Opel Astra and Chevrolet Cruze. St. Petersburg gets the Opel Mokka in 2016.
Global Automakers Riding Out Storm in Russian Market 
Ford Europe President Stephen Odell says the automaker remains committed to Russia, where it plans to be producing 11 models at three plants by the end of 2015.
Mercedes-Benz Thrives as Russian LV Market Shrinks
Mercedes parent Daimler reportedly continues searching for a local production partner. That would allow the automaker to sidestep the Russian government’s recent ban on state purchases of imported cars.
GM Russia Plant in Third Unscheduled Shutdown of Year 
While all global automakers are seeing the Russian market contract, GM deliveries are falling at a faster rate.
Russia Weighing Ban on Car Imports From U.S., EU, Japan 1
An expanded ban on car imports likely would have the greatest effect on global automakers without production capacity in Russia, including Mercedez-Benz, Honda, Suzuki and Volvo.
Global Automakers May Abandon Russian Production
One analysis suggests limited capacity, possible loss of government support, devaluation of the ruble and other factors may prompt global automakers to halt assembly operations in Russia and instead focus on imports.
Russian About-Face Would Offer Automakers Incentives 
The Russian Parliament, facing the prospect of additional economic sanctions, is considering amending federal laws to provide tax relief and other benefits to foreign automakers.
Daimler May Build Mercedes Cars in Russia 
Industry analysts say Daimler is in dire need of a local production base, given the government’s recent decision to ban the purchase by state bodies and agencies of any cars produced outside the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Russia Spurns Automakers’ Bid for Additional Aid 
While disappointed by the government’s rejection, the automakers say they have no plans to reduce their investment programs in Russia.
Fiat Chrysler Deal to Build Jeeps in Russia Falters 
The automaker had negotiated a rescue plan with the Russian government to assemble Jeeps at the TagAZ facility, but that deal has expired and may be canceled.
Chevrolet Leaving Europe But Getting Boost in Russia
The automaker’s confidence in Russia’s economic prospects is reflected in its decision to raise Chevrolet’s marketing and manufacturing footprint in a market where Opel already is well-established.
Russia Giving Ailing Auto Industry $3.3 Billion Infusion 
A government official says the significant hike in state aid is related to the continuing decline of the Russian market, adding there are no plans to provide direct financial support to automakers because of World Trade Organization restrictions.
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