Oleg Gets His Wish: Russia's GAZ To Build Chevy Aveo

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
oleg gets his wish russia s gaz to build chevy aveo

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.

Join the conversation
8 of 14 comments
  • Zackman Zackman on Feb 02, 2011

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Acubra Acubra on Feb 02, 2011

      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.

  • Tparkit Tparkit on Feb 02, 2011

    "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: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/fiats-40-mpg-fiction/

  • Raast Raast on Feb 02, 2011

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

  • MikeAR MikeAR on Feb 02, 2011

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

    • Bitchplease Bitchplease on Feb 03, 2011

      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.