Eugene Gerden

Correspondent
WardsAuto

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

Articles by Eugene Gerden
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.
U.S. to Join EU’s WTO Complaint Against Russia’s Protectionist Import-Car Levy 
Russia, which imposed the fee nine days after joining the WTO last August, argues it offsets the future cost of recycling cars and therefore is not a tax.
Daimler May Up Kamaz Stake to Secure Foothold in Russian Market 
Daimler’s interest in Kamaz is understandable. The Russian truck maker has increased its share of the Russian commercial-vehicle market to 40%, up from 34% in 2012.
Russia, Other CIS Countries Levy Anti-Dumping Duties
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan say the new tariff is meant to protect local auto makers against losses associated with significant increases of imports from the EU and in particular Germany, Italy and Turkey, in recent years.
AvtoVAZ Struggling to Put Brakes on Sales Slump 
The auto maker is considering strengthening ties to its partners Renault and Nissan. But those companies are in no rush to grow the relationship, developing their own projects in Russia instead.
Fiat/Chrysler May Be Step Closer to Jeep Output in Russia
The auto maker, which had been planning a greenfield assembly plant, now is eyeing production of 60,000 vehicles at a TagAZ plant in Taganrog.
SUVs Rapidly Becoming Vehicle of Choice in Russia 
Analysts say the SUV market is the country’s largest, with annual sales expected to jump an estimated 30%-35% in coming years and even higher in the premium segment.
Ford, GM Aiming to Clear Russian Economic Hurdles 
The predicted stagnation of the Russian market is not expected to disrupt the previously announced expansion plans of many global auto makers.
BMW to Invest $500 Million to Double Russian Production Capacity
The German auto maker is negotiating with the government on the joint assembly of up to 50,000 cars annually at partner Avtotor’s Kaliningrad plant. The project includes local tie-ups with suppliers Magna, Johnson Controls and Lear.
GM, Ford Boosting Russian Production, Bringing New Models to Market
Two factors pushing sales are deferred demand and the average age of a car, which generally exceeds 10 years. "The Russian middle class is growing, with nine of the 10 best-selling cars in the country being foreign,” a GM executive says.
Luxury Auto Makers Finding No Bear Market in Russia 
Russian demand for upscale cars has been stable; sales of premium brands in the country not only declined less than other market segments during the 2008-2009 global recession but also recovered more quickly.
Russian Auto Maker Avtotor, Magna Partnering in Cluster Production Project
The manufacturing complex is expected to comprise 21 new plants, six of which will produce cars, while the remaining 15 will specialize in auto parts. GM, BMW and key suppliers are viewed as potential partners.
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