Volkswagen Confirms GAZ Joint Venture

News regarding a possible joint venture between German carmaker Volkswagen and Russian group GAZ emerged last week but none of the two sides until now denied or confirmed the reports. Volkswagen however today said that it will use the Russian partnership to manufacture approximately 100,000 VW and Skoda cars a year at one of the Russian firm's plants in the domestic market, without naming the models to be made there.

It is believed that both the Skoda Octavia and Yeti as well as Volkswagen Jetta will be manufactured by GAZ in Russia and, although it was initially rumored that the joint venture is willing to roll out 300,000 cars each year, numbers don't seem to exceed 100,000 vehicles per year.

"The Volkswagen Group is highly interested in further developing its operations for the promising Russian market. GAZ Group (is) a strong Russian partner familiar with western production and management standards," Volkswagen's Russia chief Marcus Osegowitsch was quoted as saying by an Autonews report.

The Russian group, which was on the brink of collapse in 2009, is now working on several joint projects with some other big names in the auto industry, including General Motors for building the Chevrolet Aveo and Mercedes Benz for manufacturing the Sprinter. The agreement between General Motors and GAZ was signed earlier this month, with production expected to begin in the middle of next year.

"This is our first project with GAZ. We were in talks for quite a long time," stated Sergei Lepnukhov, spokesman for GM in Russia, adding that other models are expected in the future, according to a recent Yahoo News article.
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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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