Eugene Gerden

Eugene
Gerden
Correspondent,
WardsAuto

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

Articles
Luxury-Car Sales Numbers Small But on Rise in Russia 
Sales have jumped in part because most luxury automakers and their dealers have refused to raise prices while also offering additional benefits and incentives for customers.
Suppliers Battered By Russian Auto-Industry Slump  1
The decision by Faurecia, which manufactures components such as seats, interiors and exhaust systems, to partially suspend operations may disrupt Russian production by major automakers including PSA Peugeot Citroen and Ford.
Ailing Russia Market Not Sidetracking VW Investment 
VW recently launched production of both 1.6L engines and its new-generation Polo sedan at its Kaluga plant, joining new versions of the Touareg CUV and Jetta sedan being built at the facility.
Russia’s GAZ Looks to Replace GM Assembly Work 
GAZ’s contract with GM to assemble Aveo cars at its 30,000-unit-capacity Nizhny Novgorod plant expires at the end of 2016, but production likely will end by the end of this year.
Russia Liberalizes Localized Auto Production Rules 
The proposal is a response to concerns expressed by many foreign automakers that the ongoing decline of the Russian automotive market may leave them unable to meet their obligations to reach 75% levels of localization by 2018.
Kamaz Cuts Spare Autonomous-Truck Development 
Driving the cutbacks in both investment and production is a 40% decline in year-to-date sales from like-2014.
Russian Auto-Sales Recovery Years Away, Analysts Say
Premium brands’ share of the Moscow and St. Petersburg markets is about 20%, but analysts predict demand will shift over the next few years from Russia’s largest cities to less-populated regions.
Russia’s AvtoVAZ Plans $3 Billion Investment 
Money will be spent to improve manufacturing, increase local content and bring Lada’s Vesta concept to production. Also on tap is a new-gen Chevy Niva with partner GM.
General Motors Shifts Russian Production to Belarus
A government spokesman says besides Opel, GM will add assemblies of premium brands including Cadillac at its Belarusian JV by September. The new models will be sold in Belarus, Russia and possibly other Eastern European states.
Slumping Sales Keep BMW’s Russian Plant on Ice 
Contract assembler Avtotor says BMW still is interested in developing a plant within a larger automotive cluster with annual capacity of 250,000 units by 2019 in the Kaliningrad region.
Audi Sees Upmarket Opening in Besieged Russia Market  1
Audi Russia chief Achim Saurer says the low- and mid-priced segments of the Russian market will bear the brunt of what is projected to be a 30% year-on-year decline in sales this year, creating opportunities for higher-end brands.
Automakers Say Russian Tax Hike Would Add to Pain 
While the tax increase also would apply to importers, the government no longer can afford to raise subsidies for Russian automakers and global manufacturers operating locally at the same rate.
Toyota Anything But Bearish on Russian Market 
In addition to launching RAV4 assembly next year, Toyota plans to increase imports and possibly launch of production of B- and C-segment models targeted mainly at younger Russians.
Russia to Stabilize Ruble, Protect Global Automakers 
The government says it will take fluctuations in the value of the ruble and other currencies into account when determining the percentage of locally sourced components required in foreign automakers’ car-assembly operations.
Volvo Standing Up to Russian Economic Headwinds
First-quarter deliveries slumped 39.2% from year-ago, but the automaker predicts full-year sales will fall no more than 30%, revived by a broadened product lineup led by the all-new XC90 CUV.
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