As part of a very Russian “incentive program”, GM is more than doubling the output of its wholly owned manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, Russia. Annual production will increase to 230,000 vehicles by 2015, up from 98,000 units currently.
When the expansion is complete, 1,500 additional workers will have found jobs in the then 4,000 people factory. They will manufacture Chevrolet and Opel models for the Russian market, amongst them the new Opel Astra sedan, which will be shown at the Moscow Motor Show in August.
GM and other carmakers, such as Volkswagen, Ford, Renault and Nissan rushed to Russia in response to Vladimir Putin’s “invest here, or else” policy, otherwise known as Decree 166. That decree goes like this:
Either be locked out of the Russian market (by way of obscenely high import duties).
Or (as per just-auto):
- Produce at least 300,000 units at a new plant within four years of the agreement being signed, or build more than 350,000 units for an existing plant within three years of the agreement being signed
- Achieve 60% local content within six years (more rapid timetable for existing plants)
- Carry out stampings within four years
- Equip at least 30% of vehicles with locally-sourced engines and/or transmissions within four years
- Establish an R&D center in Russia
Then you may:
Import components on preferential terms for eight years (but no later than 2020) and carry-out SKD (semi-knock down kit assembly) for 36 months following the signing of the new agreement, with kits not exceeding more than 5% of total production.