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General Motors Is Preparing Russia Exodus, Withdraws Opel First

This year will see Opel leaving Russia as mothership General Motors is looking to get out of the ex-Soviet market until December 2015 due to poor future prospects.
Chevrolet Niva Concept 1 photo
GM is leaving Russia and Opel will be its first brand to leave the market by the end of the year, according to The Detroit News. In addition, the St. Petersburg facility will be closed, with around 1,000 jobs being cut off in the process. Most likely, the GM car factory will end production this summer while Chevrolet’s assembly deal with GAZ will be dissolved later this year.

Officials within the American company consider that forecasts for the Russian new car market are not at all satisfying over the short, medium and long term. This comes as no surprise since Russian’s economy started falling apart in the last year, especially after oil price went down. In addition, the dollar left the Russian ruble far behind as the latter basically collapsed, making the cost of imported vehicles go through the roof.

Add the inflation that is looming on consumers backed by the Western economic bans and you get the perfect recipe for scaring off investors of any kind. Regarding Chevrolet, GM will continue to offer two or three models on the Russian market, possibly the Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe, but nothing is written in stone at the moment.

We do not have the appropriate localization level for important vehicles built in Russia, and the market environment does not justify a major investment to further localize. We had to take decisive action in Russia to protect our business,” explained Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann.

 
 
 
 
 

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