“Russia is an up and coming country with a sudden influx of foreigners,” says my favorite mail-order bride site. “there is a great deal of fascination about foreigners.” No kidding. The world’s automakers must be on a speed-dating jaunt through Russia. Today, Reuters reports that GM and Russia’s Avtotor are in joint venture talks. The plan: At least 300,000 cars per year. It’s not all idle talk, because Valery Gorbunov, Avtotor’s chief executive, told Reuters that a JV is definitely in the cards. However, no final decision has been made.
GM has its own production in Russia that makes the Chevrolet Cruze and Captiva, in addition to Opel’s Astra and Antara. GM also entered a joint venture with Oleg Deripaska’s GAZ to assemble the Aveo. That same GAZ is now said to be in final discussions with Volkswagen.
Avtotor already assembles the Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Aveo and a previous generation of Opel Astra. It will be very challenging to track who makes what with whom in Russia.