Re: GM buys AVTO-VAZ
General Motors Corp. has tentative plans to build Opel Astras at the joint venture assembly plant it is constructing with AvtoVAZ in Togliatti, Russia, a top company executive tells WAW at the Geneva Motor Show.
It also may consider products from other GM nameplates, including the auto maker's European and Asian partners, reveals David Herman, GM executive-in-charge of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
“We intend, within one year, to make a decision to do another vehicle. Herman says. “The idea is to choose from the stable of products available from GM and its partners as well as maybe AvtoVAZ. But we have made tentative plans to do the Opel Astra notchback, and we'll make that decision within a year.”
The decision depends on the development of the Russian market, which is growing at a 5% to 6% rate annually. Last year, new vehicle sales totaled about 1 million units, Herman says, and another 500,000 imported used vehicles were sold.
The JV with AvtoVAZ also has to have a successful start before GM approves another product for Russian production. The $350 million JV is scheduled to open in September. The factory will employ some 1,200 workers and have an annual capacity of 75,000 units.
It will make the Lada Niva SUV, which will be badged a Chevy Niva. Base price will be below $8,000, keeping it within Russia's very modest average income levels. About 35,000 Lada Nivas will be exported to Western Europe. The Lada Nivas bound for Western Europe will feature Opel's 1.8L 16-valve gasoline engine and Fiat Auto SpA's 1.9L diesel.
GM just did a big deal selling a lot of blazers and the hummer H2 to the ruskis