Fiat/Chrysler Banished To Russian Far East

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Automotive News [sub] reports that Fiat/Chrysler will become the latest in a line of third-rate global automakers to form a joint venture with the Russian firm Sollers, with plans to produce half a million units of nine Fiat and Chrysler models at a new plant in Naberezhnye Chelny. Previously Sollers had formed joint ventures with such notable automakers as Ssangyong and Isuzu. Reuters reports that Russia’s state-owned banks will provide most of the venture’s $2.9b in start-up costs. But Fiat/Chrysler has a tough road ahead of it. An analyst for BrokerCreditService describes Sollers’ challenge thusly:

The main object of this plan is to take some, I think, little market share in Vladivostok and Primorsky Kray Russian region, because over 80 or 90% of cars in this region are used cars of Japanese production.

Chrysler has yet to prove that it can handle that kind of competition in the US market, and it will be interesting to see how new Chrysler models sell against the previous-generation Sebring/Stratus, which is produced in Russia as the GAZ Volga Siber.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
5 of 9 comments
  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Feb 11, 2010

    Looks like that car has washers for the headlights, that's something American cops don't get. But strangely no push-bar.

  • Tparkit Tparkit on Feb 11, 2010

    Hmmm... a plant in mob-run Russia, financed by Putin & Thugs Inc, staffed with Russian labor...

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Feb 11, 2010

    What stood out in this article is 'a half a million units." To whom do they intend to sell these units to, given the population of Russia is decreasing by about a million a year?

  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Feb 11, 2010

    "over 80 or 90% of cars in this region are used cars of Japanese production..." Last time I checked, -every- car on the road here was used. Is that a problem?