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.
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.
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.
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.
Ford’s current level of localization in Russia is estimated at 40%, and the automaker says it intends to raise that share to 83%-85% by 2019. That is significantly higher than the 60% target stipulated in an agreement with the government.
Construction is targeted to begin by the end of the year and be completed by the end of 2016. The plant is expected to reach capacity by 2017. Planned production volumes and location of the operation have not been disclosed.
Automakers support the government subsidies but also want regulations on assembly operations eased, support for new agreements with foreign manufacturers, resumption of preferential auto lending and limits on steel exports.
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