As the price of oil and gas sinks to below $50/barrell, so does Russia’s economy. The former Soviet state, highly dependant on oil and gas revenues for growth, is expected to experience economic shrinkage between 3.4 and 6 percent this year. That isn’t good if you’re doing business in rubles and some automakers are beating a hasty retreat.
Like Ford and Hyundai-Kia, Mazda is sticking it out in Russia with their manufacturing partner Sollers (which is also the manufacturing partner of Ford since 2011). The two have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin assessing a new engine plant in the country.
General Motors dealers in Russia are unhappy at the compensation the automaker is offering as it pulls out of the country, Wards Auto is reporting.
Russian dealers want more than it cost to start their dealerships, the report details. Negotiations stalled on how much GM would discount service contracts for thousands of GM cars currently on the road, and how much GM would offer dealers who need to change their businesses after GM leaves the country. The latest round of negotiations stalled in July.
GM sold more than 247,000 Chevrolet, Daewoo, Opel and Cadillac cars in Russia in 2014, which was down more than 24 percent from the prior year. This week, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said the luxury automaker would focus on sales in Russia — and also China and the Middle East — even after GM announced it would be leaving that country.
Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday.
“We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.
Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains to help it gain a foothold in European markets. According to the report, Cadillac has sold only 838 cars in Europe so far this year. Cadillac wants to sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen said.
Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants.
According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian market and what the automaker calls “moderate” gains in the rest of Europe.
However, within the EU, overall sales for all automakers are up 8.2 percent in the first six month of this year and 14.6 percent in June, according to ACEA.
Wealthy Russians are clamoring for Teslas that aren’t even available in their country, Bloomberg News is reporting.
Buyers are paying up to double for the electric vehicles, the story reports, which include freight and import fees of more than $60,000 for the cars.
“It doesn’t pollute nature and it’s super cheap and easy to use,” Herman Gref told Bloomberg News in an e-mail.
Super cheap is relative term — even in Russian we hope.
As Russia continues to struggle with its economic health, Hyundai Group is doing its part to keep the nation’s auto sales afloat.
China may be a hotbed for automakers to bring in their latest and greatest, but exports of its automotive wares aren’t as hot these days.
The ongoing economic crisis suffered by Russia has given pause to a decision by BMW to build an assembly plant in the ailing nation.
GM is set to significantly reduce operations in Russia, as the once promising auto market suffers under the weight of economic uncertainty and a difficult regulatory regime.
Sometimes I wish I was the President of the United States. Sure, I might have to be extremely vigilant about what I say in public (“I’m more of a Chevy guy than a Ford guy”), have to give up a good portion of my privacy (Really? You want to see how terrible I am at golf?), cannot drive a car (Great, now I need to learn how to use a trickle charger), and deal with a group of people hell-bent on obstructing my policy. (So you think my plan for requiring a minimum internet speed 100 Mbps is horrendous? Horrendous HOW?)