GM to Restart Russian Antara Production in 2010

The Russian market is apparently seeing signs of recovery so General Motors is planning to resume Opel Antara SUV production in early 2010. The company decided to suspend operations of the St Petersburg plant in September, citing the market conditions and dropping demand as the main reasons.

The production restart will be accompanied by a 10 percent price reduction, wrote citing an Opel statement. Additionally, the Russian plant will begin production of Astra, with overall production capacity to reach 60,000 units by the end of next year.

General Motors aims to expand Russian operations with the help of Magna and GAZ and, according to some sources, it has already contacted Sberbank to support some local projects. On the other hand, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said GM hasn't discussed such a deal.

“I see us being able to pick up with Magna and GAZ and continue to try to develop this business – but obviously now as part of a GM-retained Opel, not as part of a Magna-Sberbank consortium,” GM Group Vice President John Smith said earlier this month.

“GM didn’t discuss anything with anyone,” Putin commented on the topic. “It doesn’t hurt our interests, but it speaks of a peculiar culture of communication of American business with its business partners,” Putin said. “This arrogant attitude is directed first and foremost at the Europeans rather than at us.”

Opel was initially believed to expand Russia operations with the help of Magna and Sberbank, the two partners which were once leading candidates to take control of the German brand.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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