“We have great respect for Daimler and we hope that it will build its plant in the territory of St. Petersburg,” city official Maxim Meyskin says. “However, the project should not be implemented at any price, which is our fundamental position.”
Although imports comprise about 20% of the Russian market, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov believes global automakers have chosen to focus on local output as the country’s economic crisis, aggravated by Western sanctions, continues.
Despite GM’s shutdown of Chevrolet and Opel assembly and sales operations in Russia, and limiting its imports to Cadillac and a handful of Chevy products, the Niva is one of the country’s best-selling CUVs.
The automaker is cutting prices and expanding its product range in an effort to pull out of a tailspin that saw July sales drop 21.3% from like-2014 and 52% for the year’s first seven months, according to WardsAuto data.
Sources say Daimler has asked St. Petersburg Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko to provide a 125-acre site for the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant, along with associated infrastructure investment, without compensation from the automaker.
Despite the current difficulties, negotiations are expected to continue. Legal action by the dealers likely would result in the termination of service contracts by GM, potentially exposing bigger retailers with large customer bases to further losses.
Most of the new funding will be used to compensate local and global automakers for discounts given dealers in a market where, according to WardsAuto data, sales fell 29.7% year-on-year in June and were off 36.4% through the first half of the year.
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.
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.
Continental plans to expand its business in sensors and chassis systems that will enable semi- or fully autonomous driving in the coming decade. The German supplier expects that its unique in-tire air-pressure monitor will play a part in that development....More
To optimize their logistics and supply-chain management strategies, automakers need the ability to track large amounts of data across the globe in order to provide a high-level overview of where supply chain time and money are spent....More
Fiat enthusiast John Montgomery says a hurdle is getting people to look beyond the cars’ unflattering past. His hope is they will recognize that, just as a new pope brings new energy, a new Fiat means new possibilities....More