Peter Homola


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

Some Chevrolets to Make Russian Comeback Under Ravon Brand 
The new Ravon brand plans five models for now, including the R3, an updated version of the previous-generation Chevrolet Aveo sedan.
GM May Stop Engine Production in Austria by 2018 
Opel’s Vienna plant manufactured 534,246 engines, 375,333 5-speed transmissions and 347,209 6-speed transmissions in 2014. The automaker expects similar production volumes for this and next year.
Chinese Automakers Retrench as Iran’s Market Reopens
With the lifting of sanctions against Iran in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program, Chinese automakers will face more competition as other foreign companies step up production in the country, increase imports, or both.
JLR’s New Slovak Plant Could Hit Personnel Snag 
JLR is expected to create up to 4,000 direct jobs at its Slovak plant. But its location within 100 miles of Volkswagen, PSA and Kia facilities has raised concerns the luxury automaker may have trouble finding enough qualified workers.
Global Automakers See New, Revived Prospects in Iran
Renault and PSA, both with a significant history of manufacturing activities in Iran, are in advanced negotiations on new projects.
Magna Steyr Austria Plant Adds BMW, JLR Production 
The contract assembler’s current portfolio at Graz includes the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Mini Countryman and Paceman and Peugeot RCZ. But of the four models, only G-Class production will continue after 2016.
JLR Looks to Eastern Europe to Expand Production
The luxury automaker has signed a manufacturing agreement with contract assembler Magna Steyr to build vehicles in Austria but also is in negotiations to build a new plant in Poland or Slovakia.
Chinese Automakers Eye Direct Investment in Russia 
While Chinese automakers accounted for only about a 3.3% share of Russia’s LV market year-to-date, their plans for growth in the country are ambitious.
Moscow Auto Show Highlights Lada, Chevrolet Concepts
Nissan’s revived low-cost Datsun brand, which is participating in the Moscow show for the first time, introduces its second model, the Datsun mi-DO.
Violence, Economic Crisis Hit Ukraine Auto Industry
ZAZ, the country’s only full-cycle automaker, manufactured only 10,622 cars in first-half 2014, compared with 252,476 in 2008, and may halt production in September because of parts shortages.
Violence Hasn’t Sidetracked Iraq Auto Production 
During the official opening of the $100 million government-run assembly plant in Al Iskandria in March, guests could see a small exhibit of cars, including a Chevrolet Malibu, with a legend that suggested plans for local assembly.
Algeria Welcoming European, Chinese Automakers 
Between its Renault and Dacia brands, Renault Group was the largest player in Algeria in 2013 with 111,378 deliveries and 26.2% market share. The French automaker also is the first company to manufacture cars in the country.
Renault, Fiat in CV Talks With Russia’s MosAvtoZil
Renault and Fiat are seeking more details about managing production, MosAvtoZil’s level of investment and the transfer price, or how much the French and Italian automakers would pay to buy back vehicles made by the Russian JV.
PSA Grows Sales, Production Operations in Kazakhstan 
PSA partner AllurGroup adds Peugeot to the brands it already sells or distributes and wants the French automaker to consider adding CKD assembly in the country.
Avtotor Breaks Ground on New Assembly Operation 
The first phase of the project is expected to be finished in 2016, at which time capacity will total 150,000 vehicles a year. That will be extended to 250,000 units by 2018.
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