DO YOU REMEMBER HOW IT ALL STARTED?
Actually, the Chinese auto industry is very young: the first car in this country was assembled in 1956: the Zefang-SA140 truck is a copy of the Soviet ZIS-150. Then the blueprints were handed over blueprints and equipment, trained specialists. The auto industry of China has developed especially intensively in the new millennium and has become the largest in the world. Last year, for example, collected over 18 million cars! It is clear that most of these machines were sold on the local market (it is considered the most promising in the world), but many local manufacturers have long been thinking about exporting. And first of all - to Russia, which, moreover, which is very close at hand, until recently had put up not too strict environmental and other obstacles in the way of foreign cars.
In general, the Russian Federation served as a huge testing ground for Chinese cars for several years. Their manufacturers decided this way: if a particular car (after refinement) goes well in Russia, then it can be promoted to other countries.
The first to arrive was the Tianye Admiral pick-up truck, and the first dealer to appear in Novosibirsk was the Beijing Jeep (a division of Transservice). I remember the curiosity with which we at the editorial office examined this car. Wow, such a car - and so cheap! Then for a pickup in a complete set asked about 14 thousand dollars; no foreign company has offered so many cars for the money. The editors bought a car for a long test, and pretty quickly it became clear how raw it was. Substitutions required many parts and entire units. However, the technical solutions laid down by Japanese engineers were so successful that they could not be spoiled even when copying in artisanal conditions. The Admiral, after some fine-tuning, ran off for two years with us, survived the winter run on an unfinished highway to Vladivostok - and remained on track. Then it was acquired by one of our employees. And so, the pickup truck is still alive, it has wound, as the owner assures, already a hundred thousand.
The Admiral pickup truck spent two years in the park of the Za Rulem magazine and made a transcontinental winter run from Moscow to Vladivostok
The Admiral pickup truck spent two years in the park of the Za Rulem magazine and made a transcontinental winter run from Moscow to Vladivostok. The Admiral pickup truck spent two years in the park of the Za Rulem magazine and made a transcontinental winter run from Moscow to Vladivostok.
In 2004, a total of 260 pickups were sold. A year later, several Chinese brands appeared at once, and in 2005 6.7 thousand “Chinese” were already sold. They talked about Chinese manufacturers as serious players. There were reasons for this: in 2006 their sales grew more than three times - almost to 23 thousand cars; the market share of foreign cars was already 2.3%. Just then in Russia began to sell not only all-terrain vehicles, but also compact cars, comparable in value to the "frets".
The most popular brand in Russia was Chery. And the best year for the “Chinese” was 2007. Then officially 14 brands were presented and about 57 thousand cars were sold. The rapid growth in sales was largely facilitated by the fact that companies did not have to build their own dealer networks, and Russian distribution companies were willingly engaged in sales. By the beginning of 2008, 440 dealers were selling Chinese cars in Russia.
In 2008, the sales curve of the "Chinese" crept down. There are several reasons. The first is the economic crisis. The second - spare parts were either not available, or they were very expensive. And that year, Euro-3 standards were introduced - and small companies - Tianye, Changfeng, Tianma and others - stopped deliveries altogether.
In Novosibirsk, they began to make different models of Chery
In Novosibirsk, they began to make different models of Chery. In Novosibirsk, they began to make different models of Chery.
“BIG LEAP” WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL
Since the early 2000s, foreign manufacturers have been drawn to Russia. They were attracted by the growing Russian market, as well as the significant benefits that the Russian government willingly provided to those who were planning to open a factory here. For this, it was only necessary to promise to invest several tens of millions of dollars in local production and conclude an industrial assembly agreement with the relevant ministries (industry and economic development).
It is not surprising that, as soon as they began deliveries to Russia, many Chinese manufacturers started talking about local production plans. It was more profitable to produce cars in the country than to import them from China. Having established an enterprise in Russia, the company could count on the status of an industrial assembly, which allowed the import of components with zero or minimum duties.
THE NEWEST HISTORY OF CHINESE AUTO MANUFACTURERS IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (2004–2012)
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Great Wall was the first, in 2005, to announce plans to build a plant for 75, 000 cars a year. But he was bypassed by the Chery company, which in the same year produced the first batch of Chery-Tiggo in Novosibirsk: 10–12 cars a day were assembled by the large-knot method. The Transservice company, the founder of the car company, planned already in 2006 to launch a full-fledged assembly production in the shops of the Berdsk Electromechanical Plant (40 km from Novosibirsk). And in parallel with this, in Koltsovo (a suburb of Novosibirsk), begin to build another plant in order to increase production to 100 thousand cars a year.
Soon they announced the start of assembly of Admiral pickup trucks in Biysk, in one of the shops of the former boiler plant.
Great Wall together with the Russian company IRITO for the production of several models of Hover off-road vehicles found a site in Tatarstan, where they planned to build a plant with a capacity of up to 100 thousand cars, and in the suburbs - 50 thousand.
In the Moscow Region, IRITO, together with another Chinese company, BYD, intended to open a plant for the production of up to 25 thousand Flyer minicars annually. And also with “Brilliance” - up to 100 thousand cars. IRITO was in a hurry and in 2006 launched the assembly of “hovers” based on a former electrical insulator production in Gzhel near Moscow.
In May 2007, the AMUR plant (Automobiles and Motors of the Urals, Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk Region) launched production of ZX all-terrain vehicles (Landmark brand), and a month later, Gili-Otaka sedans. By the end of the year, AMUR was planning to release 20–25 thousand Chinese cars. The status of the industrial assembly for the enterprise was publicly promised to be knocked out by the then governor of the region Eduard Rossel in the government.
In August 2007, in Cherkessk, Derways began to assemble Chinese Lifan sedans.
Chinese manufacturers tried to conquer our market by promoting low-cost passenger cars of classes A, B and C
Chinese manufacturers tried to conquer our market by promoting low-cost passenger cars of Class A, B and C. Chinese manufacturers tried to conquer our market by promoting low-cost passenger cars of Class A, B and C.
The largest “Chinese” project was launched in 2006 at the Kaliningrad enterprise AUTOTOR. At first, they assembled a small batch of light commercial trucks, the Yuejin. Following this, AUTHOR began to produce three models of "Cherie" - "Amulet", "Tiggo" and "Handicap".
In short, only in 2006, seven Chinese manufacturers announced plans to produce their cars in Russia. Analysts at Pricewater House Coopers, an international audit firm, predicted that by 2010 the annual production of Chinese cars in Russia could exceed 450 thousand units. Miscalculated.
AUTOR IN DEFENSE
In the summer of 2007, the Russian government was supposed to stop accepting applications for the industrial assembly regime. Ten Chinese automakers or joint ventures filed them. They wanted to work by the same rules as other companies - American, European, Japanese, Korean. But the government decided: do not give the industrial assembly regime to the Chinese. They say that Prime Minister M. Fradkov insisted on this. Our manufacturers convinced him of the dangers of the "Chinese invasion."
By July 2007, the Chinese list was reduced to the four largest projects: Great Wall in Tatarstan, Geely and ZH at the AMUR plant, Lifan at the Derways plant in Cherkessk and the production of BAIC light trucks in the Ulyanovsk Region. But in the end, these agreements were not signed - without explanation.
Kaliningrad AUTOTOR did not need an agreement on industrial assembly - there were privileges for the special economic zone. He was blocked in another way. In the summer of 2007, customs suddenly decided that assembly kits (all, not just Chinese) were imported into Kaliningrad illegally. Numerous cases were initiated, and litigation lasted almost four years. AUTHOR won all cases - but how much effort and money were required!
Assembly of cars "Lifan" at the factory "Derways" in Cherkessk
Assembly of cars "Lifan" at the factory "Derways" in Cherkessk. Assembly of cars "Lifan" at the factory "Derways" in Cherkessk.
In addition, almost all Russian automakers signed a letter to the government demanding that AUTHOR be denied customs privileges that violate the conditions of free competition. As a result, in April 2008, the contract with the Chinese company was terminated. The government decree adopted in 2008 finally finished off the small assembly projects of the Chinese: the rate of import customs duty on finished bodies was increased to 15% of the cost, but not less than 5 thousand euros apiece. With an average retail price of a Chinese car of 10-15 thousand euros, this made the screwdriver assembly unprofitable.
FROM AZOV TO BELARUS
By 2010, sales of Chinese cars grew: the affairs of our citizens began to straighten out, and the quality of Chinese cars improved gradually.
Since 2009, the Circassian Derways has been collecting full-cycle (with welding and painting) hatchbacks and sedans Lifan, Khaima and Dzhili (for more details see ZR, 2011, No. 1). The main shareholder of Derweis today is Sberbank. Since 2010, TagAZ has taken on the "Chinese". At first, these were the converted “cherie”: “Vortex-Estina” (“Chery-Fora”), “Vortex-Tingo” (“Chery-Tiggo”) and “Vortex-Korda” (“Chery-Amulet”). In 2011, TagAZ-C10 (JAC A138) was added. The main creditor of the enterprise is also Sberbank.
The assembly of the Great Wall all-terrain vehicles in Gzhel near Moscow does not stop, but the bodies are being prepared for them in Cherkessk.
Many companies undertook to assemble Chinese cars in Russia …
Many companies undertook to assemble Chinese cars in Russia … Many companies undertook to assemble Chinese cars in Russia …
There are also new projects. The Russian holding company “AMS-Group” and the Chinese automobile company BAIEC nevertheless built and opened a factory of trucks and buses of the BAW brand in the Ulyanovsk Region. They plan to produce annually up to 70 thousand cars. The FAW Group automobile concern announced its intention to organize the production of its cars at the Derways Circassian Automobile Plant since 2012. According to preliminary information, we are talking about assembling a business sedan, as well as a golf class sedan and hatchback.
The Chinese are trying to enter the Russian market on the other hand: recently, the Gili company and the government of Belarus signed an investment project - several models of Chinese cars will be assembled at BelAZ.
Of course, cars from the Middle Kingdom still cause distrust among many: they speak of a low level of quality and safety. Nevertheless, the cars have their own audience. The strength of the "Chinese" is its low price: 300-450 thousand rubles for most cars. And the quality is growing over the years, I must admit. About 240 thousand Chinese cars are now traveling on our roads. In the first quarter of this year, 16 thousand new cars were already sold. In the future, in five to seven years, Chinese automakers may occupy up to 10% of the Russian market.
Pickups were the first Chinese cars that Russians met
Pickups were the first Chinese cars that Russians met. Pickups were the first Chinese cars that Russians met.