“General Motors” interested in Russia
First of all, “General Motors” is going to develop car producing in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, which is sometimes dubbed “the automobile capital of Russia”. The company is planning to release 30,000 “Chevrolet” saloon cars every year in Nizhny Novgorod.
Besides, “General Motors” is planning to invest in the car-producing plant “AvtoVAZ” in the Russian city of Tolyatti.
An article in “The New York Times” says that for “General Motors”, Russia is the most prospective country in Europe. In other European countries, the current financial crisis is making people buy fewer cars. Meanwhile, in Russia, within the first half of 2012, the consumption of cars increased 40%. So, “General Motors” is trying not to lag behind its main competitors on the Russian car market – the American “Ford”, the Japanese “Nissan”, the German “Volkswagen” and the French “Renault”.
Analysts say that for Western producers of cars, Russia presents a gigantic market of unsatisfied demands.
“Russians seem to have some special love for cars,” Russian expert Sergey Aslanyan says.
“Although the European financial crisis is touching Russia as well, it doesn’t seem to have made Russians buy fewer cars. It is a part of the Russian mentality – nearly every Russian dreams of having a car. So, most likely, “General Motors” will find many buyers for its products in Russia. The $ 1 bln it is going to invest in car producing in Russia will most likely pay back many times over.”
European experts are also sure that in the nearest future, Russia will become the largest consumer of cars in Europe. At present, the first place is occupied by Germany, but experts from the Association of European Businesses are predicting that in 2014, Russia will oust Germany from this place.
The Association of European Businesses unites several hundred industrial and trade companies, many of which, in this or that way, have business in Russia or business ties with Russia.
According to the association’s estimates, out of 1,000 Russians, 250 have cars. For comparison: in India, the relevant figure is 11, in China – 49, in Germany – about 500, and in the US – more than 600.
“I see nothing bad in the fact that the Russian market of cars is more and more actively occupied by foreign companies,” Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Russian magazine “Za Rulyom” (“Behind the Wheel”), which is devoted to cars, Igor Morzharetto says.
“I believe, this is an absolutely normal process,” Mr. Morzharetto continues. “In the modern world, practically no car-producing company remains within the borders of one country. Take, for example, a well-known car – the “Nissan Almera”. Initially, “Nissan” was a Japanese company, but it would be probably wrong to call this car Japanese, because parts for this car are made in France, and the cars are assembled in the Russian city of Tolyatti. Today, Russia is a part of the world market – and this, I believe, is absolutely normal. The fact that foreign car-producing companies are starting to have business in Russia is evidence that they believe in Russia’s future economic prosperity.”
Besides investing in car production in Tolyatti and Nizhny Novgorod, “General Motors” is also going to invest in modernizing an offroadster popular in Russia, “Chevrolet-Niva”, and broadening its production.