Touareg Production Heading to Russia

Volkswagen plans to start the production of its full-size SUV in Russia as soon as January 2009, the German manufacturer announced today. Moreover, the first Russia-produced Touareg is said to arrive in April 2009, with all models exclusively built by the Kaluga plant, currently manufacturing Jetta, Passat plus Skoda Fabia, Octavia and Octavia Tour. According to Just-auto, Volkswagen expects to build approximately 100,000 units in 2009, 15,000 vehicles under the initial plan.

Volkswagen is not the first company that aims to start production of certain models in Russia, with several other automakers and part suppliers moving their operations into the country. For instance, General Motors and Pirelli signed deals with the local government in order to start the construction of new facilities aimed at enhancing their local activity and to help them address to new segment of buyers.

Similar to Volkswagen, GM saw Russia as a great opportunity in the automotive industry, with the country said to become “Europe's Number One car maker for the American company”, as GM officials explained.

“We are fully committed to our Russia growth strategy,” said Carl-Peter Forster, President of General Motors Europe. “Our St. Petersburg plant will work to the same high standards that have recently resulted in major quality awards for our cars,” said Carl-Peter Forster.

On the other hand, various companies have already shut down their production facilities in Russia, including Renault and Ford which experienced poor sales since the beginning of the crisis. In addition, the Russian government attempted to fight against the cars imports avalanche by introducing a new tax which increased costs on new models by up to 5 percent. This special measure was introduced to encourage carmakers and suppliers to move their operations in the country, Russian officials explained.
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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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