By on February 2, 2011

Remember Oleg Deripaska? The Russian oligarch that had been under suspicion of money laundering and organized crime activities?  The very same Deripaska GM did not want to have close to Opel for fear of losing their precious intellectual property ? Yes, him. GM just handed him the blueprints and the tooling for the Chevy Aveo.

According to a GM press release, “General Motors Co. and Russian automotive manufacturer GAZ Group, part of Oleg Deripaska’s ‘Basic Element Group’, have signed an agreement for the contract assembly of the new Chevrolet Aveo small car at GAZ’s facility in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia.”

Production of some 30,000 Aveos is scheduled to begin in mid-2012. The cars are for the Russian market. The new Aveo (Chevrolet Sonic in the USA) hatchback is latest technology. It debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, and is a volume car destined for markets around the world. The Aveo shares a lot of technology with, some say is based on the Opel Corsa. So finally, Oleg gets his wish: An Opel.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

14 Comments on “Oleg Gets His Wish: Russia’s GAZ To Build Chevy Aveo...”

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    No, he doesn’t get an Opel at all.  He gets a rebadged Daewoo! 

    What about GM’s “contract” with VAZ (Lada)?  Oh yes, I forgot.  The Russians regard contracts at about the same level as Americans and Chinese – not worth the paper they are printed on.  VAZ (Lada) went and crawled into bed with Renault and ignored their prior bride, GM.

    So now GM has crawled into bed with GAZ (which was the maker of the rather infamous GAZ (Volga) black sedans which used to be what Russian citizens whoops I mean SUBJECTS used to be hauled off in during the dark of night after being dragged from their beds by KGB thugs.

    Nice bed-partner, GM.  But then, you’ve had a history of shacking up with some very colorful characters – just as have almost all the other car companies.  You know, like Hitler, Mussolini, Juan Peron, even Stalin (yes, Ford Motor Company, I’m specifically looking at you… helping the Russians to START the GAZ organization by sending designs of the Model A and AA trucks).    

    • 0 avatar

      Your point is?
      Relationship between Stalin and Ford? Volga cars used by KGB agents?
      You clearly like to dig up old bones.  Did you know that USSR collapsed 20 years ago?

    • 0 avatar

      And IBM sold tabulating machines to Nazi Germany, Fanta was created by the Coca Cola company’s german subsidiary during world war 2, Fiats were built in Spain under the Franco administration, and Vickers sold tanks to the Soviet Union in the 1930s. I am truly appalled by these horrible companies and their evil ways of doing business in the free market.

    • 0 avatar

      Mr. Carpenter, it seems, has dug out a pile of Cold war era comic books somewhere – and overdosed. 
      Volga sedans were not used for transporting arrested regime-fighters. They were far more common as a taxi for regular citizens. Very few (painted black) were fleet cars for mid-level officials.
      Ideology-blindness of multinational corps is nothing special too, as other commenter noted.
      Evilness of certain Soviet (and earlier Russian) leaders is terribly overblown. Sensation sells, you know… I just wonder why the utter humanity of the British Empire is overlooked. Or of the French during their Revolt years… Oh well… 

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So will the suspension be beefed up to handle (what I’e been lead to believe are) the rougher roads of Russia?  Are the Russians looking for a “cheap” car or do they actually prefer small cars? 

    • 0 avatar

      They have to stick with small-engined crapmobiles due to ever-increasing gas prices (2.5USD /Gall now, with average gross wage of less than 800USD/month) and because of the punitive vehicle taxes and obligatory state-regulated insurance, that are based on engine power.

  • avatar

    A Russian Aveo? Isn’t the Chrysler Sebring – er – Siber enough for them? Or are the 2.7L’s still sluding up on them? By the way, International companies have no specific loyalty to any government or ideology when it comes right down to it. Only money talks, but some posters either haven’t figured that out or choose not to care, but that’s the way it is, like it or not. I wonder why we can’t get any Russian-made products, oh, say, like an Antonov AN2, a Horizont S3Pro panoramic camera (I think you can buy that one), a well-used Trabant, etc, not that I want any of that stuff, but I’m just musing…not much else to say on this.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Carpenter

      I think much of the reason that we can’t get Russian made goods is because for decades, the United States citizenry had an opinion that buying from an avowed enemy whose leader stated that the wished to “bury” us, was probably bad form….

      You might say such thought processes no longer are prevalent when you realize that we import about 2/3 of our oil into the US and approximately half of that is from people who hate us because of their religion (which really is a political system of control in disguise – I ask you, what other religion on earth “demands” the death of non-adherents?  None… but I digress).

      Yes, I realize that International companies and even National companies don’t care with whom they do business. 

      Perhaps this may prove to be a mistake if you look at history long enough with the realization that human beings should come before profits, and greed, and opportunism….

      But that’s just my personal opinion and virtually nobody thinks like myself any more – and isn’t the world working out so very well nowadays?  Surely it proves me wrong??? (tongue in cheek)

    • 0 avatar

      Mr Carpenter, read up before you post, of the top 5 exporters to the US, only Saudi Arabia is a majority Muslem country. Unless you are talking about Catholic countries, much less than half our oil come from countries that hate us because of their religion (your words).

    • 0 avatar

      Buying the old Sebring assembly lines was a pure money laundering. Noone ever considered or expected that to be a viable business case.

      The reason you did not see much Soviet products is that either they were pure crap, or simply not well-made enough to compete with Western offers. 
      I would not comment on aircrafts, as I know very little about that, but would guess that it is red-taped even more than car imports.

  • avatar

    “The very same Deripaska GM did not want to have close to Opel for fear of losing their precious intellectual property? Yes, him. GM just handed him the blueprints and the tooling for the Chevy Aveo.”

    There’s no contradiction here, and no mystery. The explanation is simple: GM never had a fear regarding losing intellectual property to the Russians, and does not have one now.

    That notion was a red herring, intended to make GM look solid (and thus worth bailing out) by creating an appearance that GM had options, was dealing from a position of strength, and choose to back away from selling Opel because Opel is part of GM’s grand strategy for global competitiveness.

    The reality is that the tentative deal fell through because Opel is junk, and a liability to GM. It was for sale because it was dead weight. Was then, still is now, and the prospective buyers and their governments knew it. A final deal was never reached because GM/Washington didn’t sweeten the pot enough for the buyers to take Opel off of GM’s hands.

    Think Chrysler… Fiat only took it because it was free. To save face, Washington tried to act as though Chrysler was valuable (otherwise, how could Washington explain the bailout? As a taxpayer rescue of its political ally the UAW?), and pretended to have held Fiat’s feet to the fire by means of a pack compelling Fiat to meet environmental objectives. The idea, of course, is that Fiat agreed because it had to if it wanted access to the benefits of being involved with Chrysler.

    As has since been revealed, this was complete bunk:

  • avatar

    What, the plans to the Vega went missing?   Think of the possibilities.

  • avatar

    Actually no big deal, it’s just one government automaker doing business with another government automaker.

    • 0 avatar

      You are seriously mistaken if you think GAZ is owned by the Russian government. GAZ is a publicly traded company, of which Oleg Deripaska owns 75%. I dont think you should should comment on this topic if you don´t know what you are talking about.
      Also, GM still loves Bo Andersson, and that is probably why this deal went through.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • RHD: This is the last hurrah for internal combustion engines. Development money should be going to electric...
  • RHD: It will look amazing, too, balanced on the two front wheels.
  • Dan: Keystone wasn’t one decision this January that wouldn’t have affected production nor prices 6 months...
  • ajla: EVs becoming a normie culture war battleground will be bad for everyone so I’m sure it will happen.
  • ajla: The Keystone Pipeline decision may not be impacting current prices but I do think it is worth debating the...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber