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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.
Re-badged Chevrolet Aveo sold as ZAZ Vida.
VIENNA – Between the violence in Eastern Ukraine that has drawn worldwide attention, as well as the adverse economic situation and devaluation of the local currency, Ukrainian automakers, importers and dealers face hard times.
ZAZ, Ukraine’s only full-cycle car manufacturer with its own stamping operation, may stop production at its plant in Zaporozhye in September because of problems with parts supplies. According to Tariel Vasadze, president of UkrAvto, which controls ZAZ, 30% to 40 % of parts were sourced from Eastern Ukraine. The automaker’s inventory of parts is running out.
“If nothing changes, production may end in September,” Vasadze tells Ukrainian news agency liga.net. “We are looking for replacement(s) at Chinese and other suppliers, but that affects production costs.”
However, production is small even when ZAZ is operating. The factory manufactured only 10,622 cars in first-half 2014, compared with 252,476 in 2008. The 2008 figure included a large portion of cars assembled from semi-knocked-down kits, but it still shows the large difference between the situation then and now.
ZAZ’s product portfolio includes three models, the ZAZ Lanos (old Daewoo Lanos), Vida (previous-generation Chevrolet Aveo) and Forza (ChineseA13).
In the past, Russia was the main market for the Zaporozhye-made cars. ZAZ offered cars under its own brand there, while the Forza was sold under thebrand by the Russian Chery importer.
Exports to Russia started to falter with the introduction of a Russian recycling fee in fall 2012. Now, as a result of the conflict between the two countries, it is questionable whether ZAZ will export any vehicles at all.
ZAZ’s main export market is Egypt. The Ukrainian automaker ships complete-knocked-down Lanos kits to theEgypt plant, which assembles and distributes the cars as the Chevrolet Lanos.