Peter Homola


Based in Austria, Peter covers Eastern European auto makers and markets.

Magna Steyr Expands Mercedes-Benz G-Class Production 
Magna Steyr reportedly invested some €20 million in the expansion, which includes a new assembly line and upgrades throughout the plant to increase overall capacity.
Renault-Nissan, AvtoVAZ Create Common Purchasing Group
Improving purchasing procedures and the quality of parts sourced from Russian-owned suppliers, as well as increasing parts localization, are among the main tasks of the alliance’s partnership with AvtoVAZ.
Audi Gearing for Manufacturing Comeback in Brazil 
The VW luxury brand plans to launch assembly of the Audi A3 sedan from CKD kits in September 2015, with the Audi Q3 CUV to be added in mid-2016.
Russia’s Sollers Grows Majority Stake in UAZ Plant 
Sollers paid the Russian state about RR850.3 million for an additional 13.2% stake in UAZ, which manufactures SUVs, pickups and light-commercial vehicles.
Second Toyota Model to Double St. Petersburg Capacity 
The auto maker will invest ¥18 billion in the plant to add production of the RAV4, its top seller in Russia and the country’s fourth best-selling CUV.
Renault-Nissan Alliance Expands Southeast Asian Footprint in Indonesia 
Indonesia is among the top emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with a population of 250 million. The country, which has 36 vehicles for every 1,000 residents, is seen as one of the world’s most promising passenger-vehicle markets.
Ukraine’s Bogdan to Add Great Wall Assembly 
While other vehicles assembled by Bogdan are built from complete-knocked-down kits, the Great Wall project will start with semi-knocked-down assembly in the first stage.
Fiat Poland Plant Ahead of 2013 Production Forecast 
Plans call for about 290,000 builds this year, which would be 17% below the 2012 total of 348,503 but ahead of earlier predictions of about 255,000.
Volkswagen May Build Light-Commercial Vehicles in U.S. 
The auto maker will offer European-based models if it decides to enter the U.S. market. Candidates include the VW Caddy, a vehicle in the Ford Transit Connect segment.
Chinese Auto Maker Qoros Opens First European Dealership in Slovakia 
Sales will start in Slovakia with the top-of-the-line Elegance FWD model, powered by a 156-hp turbocharged 1.6L 4-cyl. gasoline engine that meets Euro 5 emissions standards
Suzuki Launches Production of New SX4 in Hungary 
The new CUV was unveiled at this year’s Geneva auto show. It will be exported to the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
Taiwan’s Luxgen Launches SUV Production in Russia 
The Russian assembler plans to build about 1,500 units this year, reaching monthly volume of 450 units by 2014.
Opel Nears End of Transmission Production in Bochum 
The Bochum facility manufactured 176,726 F13 5-speed transmissions in 2012. Plans for this year call for output of about 120,000 units.
Finland’s Valmet Launches Mercedes A-Class Output 
Valmet engineered and constructed a completely new body shop, with 200 robots and 90%-plus automation, to build the small car.
Opel Launches Output of Facelifted Insignia Range
The brand’s revamped flagship models will debut at the Frankfurt auto show that opens to the media Sept. 10.


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