Eugene Gerden


Eugene Gerden writes about the Russian auto industry from his base in St. Petersburg.


FCA Phases Out Sales of Fiat Brand in Russia
Although FCA cites slow sales in announcing the end of Fiat sales in Russia, deliveries through May totaled 622 units, up 17.8% year-on-year, according to WardsAuto data.
Nissan Hiking Russian Output 25%, Hiring 450 Workers 1
Nissan’s plant is designed to manufacture 100,000 vehicles a year. Last year’s output amounted to only 36,458 units, but that was 8% more builds than in 2015. A 25% increase would bring this year’s total to nearly 50,000 units.
GM Has Ambitious Plans for Cadillac Brand in Russia
Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen said in a 2015 interview that parent General Motors plans to increase the number of Russian dealerships to 17 and increase annual sales to 10,000 cars.
Volkswagen to Grow Russian Output With GAZ Group
Volkswagen Group Rus CEO Markus Osegovich says the automaker plans to double the number of exports from Russia in 2017. That will be achieved by adding shifts at Nizhny Novgorod and selling fewer Jetta, Octavia and Yeti models domestically.
Volvo May Build Russian Car Plant as Market Recovers
The range of vehicles built at the plant could include Volvo’s most popular models in Russia, including XC60 and XC90 CUVs and S90 sedans.
GM’s Russian JV in Talks to Finance New-Gen Niva CUV
General Motors’ Russian joint venture, GM-AvtoVAZ, is in negotiations with Russian authorities, particularly on opening a credit line needed to fully finance expansion of the plants where the current-generation Niva is built.
Mazda Plans to Expand Russia-Built Product Lineup
The Vladivostok plant produces Mazda6 sedans and CX-5 CUVs, and the Japanese automaker intends to add models it currently sells in the Russian market, according to Jorg Schreiber, head of Mazda Motor Rus, the company’s Russian subsidiary.
BMW May Take Over Russian Plant Abandoned by GM
The plant would produce the same range of vehicles now built in Kaliningrad by contract assembler Avtovor – 3-Series, 5-Series and 7-Series sedans, as well as X1, X3, X5 and X6 CUVs, officials say.
Ford’s Russian JV Shifting Focus to SUVs, CUVs
The decision mainly is the result of a significant decline in demand for Ford sedans and hatchbacks among Russian consumers, as well as competition in the form of lower-priced small cars from South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia.
Russia Hopes Transport Subsidies Will Boost Exports
Currently, subsidies range from 20% of transport costs for global manufacturers in Russia to 60%-80% for domestic brands and global companies whose level of localization – primarily parts purchases but also R&D spending – exceeds 50%.
Volkswagen Resuming Audi Production in Russia
The lineup likely may include SUVs and CUVs, segments that have performed well in Russia as the industry shows signs of emerging from a slump now in its fourth year.
Russian Automaker AvtoVAZ Expanding Model Range
Overall, the company plans to launch the production of eight new models, with another eight to be updated by 2025.
Marketing Missteps Make Jeep Underachiever in Russia
Mikhail Gevorkov, a co-owner of St. Petersburg-based Autocenter Aurora, says FCA has not been importing updated versions of vehicles for which demand in Russia is the greatest.
Skoda Making Push Into Recovering Russian Market
Skoda plans to boost sales of its Octavia hatchback/station wagon– the company’s best seller in Russia, accounting for 20% of sales– as well as the CUVs that have held up well despite the overall market’s lagging performance.
Russia Eyes Automaker Investment Contracts
Expiration of the current tit-for-tat of local assembly in return for state benefits, which was established a decade ago, begins next year and concludes in 2019.