Magna Takes GM's Russian Plants
The CEO said GM's joint venture with Russia's largest carmaker, AvtoVAz, as well as the factory near St. Petersburg will pass over to the consortium led by Magna, Autonews reported. For the time being, the facilities will produce 200,000 vehicles each year, but the prospects to build more do exist.
"We want this production to be integrated with other Russian carmakers, so that they can get the chance to modernize their production and participate in the cooperation," German Gref, Sberbank CEO was quoted as saying by the aforementioned source.
The news comes not as a surprise, as it is know that American manufacturer GM is shedding it European operations. In addition, Russia was since the beginning a target for Magna, especially because, according to the agreement signed with GM, it is not allowed to sell Opel models in the US and China.
In Russia, GAZ group will have a role as an industrial partner for the Opel deal. As Gref said, the country was behind in terms of technology and the deal between Magna and Opel is the perfect tool to bring new tech to the country.
The goal for the consortium is to sell around 1,000,000 units in Russia. Still no news came regarding what vehicles will be built in the Russian plants. Magna did say in mid May it plans to use GM facilities to build cars for other car makers as well, including Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroen.