ZIL, the oldest Russian automobile company, has its history since 1916. The largest, AvtoVAZ, has been producing cars since 1970 - less than 40 years. And the youngest - the Nissan plant - opened just a few months ago.



Russia is rightfully considered an automobile power with strong traditions. After all, we are not only engaged in the assembly of cars of world brands, but also produce our own models. Moreover, we sell abroad both finished cars and assembly kits. In the list of automobile countries in terms of output, Russia until last year occupied an honorable seventh place. Another thing is that the crisis affected the situation and somewhat changed the balance of power. But this is temporary, we will show ourselves … However, we will return to the present day.

Existing enterprises of the Russian automotive industry can be classified in several ways. Traditional involves a division into "ours" and "foreign". AvtoVAZ, GAZ, IzhAvto, UAZ are usually referred to the first (so far we take into account the manufacturers of passenger cars), the second - to all other manufacturers. This is not entirely correct, because in Russia there are enterprises owned by our shareholders where foreign cars are assembled. And vice versa, the “original Russian” AvtoVAZ with pronounced Italian roots today is a quarter owned by the French company. And where is the GM-AvtoVAZ joint venture? It seems to me that it is easier to consider the Russian auto industry in a regional context, because today there are several quite full-fledged automotive clusters. The term "cluster" means "a set of homogeneous elements, identical objects forming a group." In Russia, from the point of view of automobile production, there are already at least three of these; another two or three are ripening.


It so happened that the Volga region has always been the Russian center for automotive industry, and the region is trying to keep this industry behind. Here, in one way or another, factories that produce cars of eight brands (GAZ, UAZ, Lada, Chevrolet, Izh, KIA, SanYong, FIAT) are successfully operating. We’ll make a reservation right away: yes, the situation in Izhevsk is not simple, the plant is standing, but that doesn’t mean at all that the production of cars has been stopped forever … The number of models is not easy to calculate, because one AvtoVAZ produces 25 modes (!) Names and modifications, and if you recall also subsidiaries that also assemble their cars on VAZ platforms … Therefore, for ease of calculation, we’ll agree that five basic models are made in Tolyatti (Zhiguli, they are also classic, Samara, Kalina, Priora, “ 4 × 4 ", girlhood" Niva "); in Nizhny Novgorod - three Volga models (31105, 3102, Cyber); in Ulyanovsk - three UAZ models ("classic", "Hunter", "Patriot"). IzhAvto collected Izh-2717 heels, the VAZ-2104 station wagon (also a classic), KIA-Spectra and Sorento this year. Plus the Chevrolet Niva from Togliatti. In total, it turns out that as many as two dozen models of cars are produced in the Volga region. There is plenty to choose from!

By the way, this region is also the main Russian supplier of buses and trucks. In addition to our traditional brands (GAZ, PAZ, KamAZ, etc.), foreign commercial vehicles (Isuzu, Tata, FIAT, Ford) have been successfully assembled here for a long time. And here are the main enterprises for the production of automotive components. True, the majority does not reach the world level …




In recent years, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region vied with each other to praise the competitive advantages of their territories for the organization of assembly plants and the production of auto components, offered a variety of benefits - and the result exceeded expectations. The region has already received about $ 2 billion of foreign investment and hopes to create a new Russian autocluster on its territory, pathetically called the Russian Detroit already with someone’s light arm (however, other regions dispute this title). But it’s not the name. Under the Soviet regime, there was not a single automobile enterprise, and now four assembly plants are operating in the city and the region (Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Nissan), and another (Hyundai) will be launched in the future year. The existing enterprises produce cars of five brands - Ford, Toyota, Opel, Chevrolet, Nissan. So far, eight models, but this is only the beginning.

In Russia, there are already at least three full-fledged clusters specialized in the manufacture of automobiles; another two or three are ripening.

It is logical to classify the Kaliningrad region as the same cluster. It is administratively part of the Northwestern Federal District and is also the most economically connected with St. Petersburg. At the Kaliningrad plant "Avtotor" foreign cars collected since 1997. Today these are cars of five foreign brands - BMW, Hammer, Cadillac, Chevrolet, KIA, a total of 25 models (this is what - last year we collected 27 models of seven brands!). It is clear that the release of some models is piece-wise, while others replicate in tens of thousands. In different years, they experimented with Chinese cars here, but then they abandoned this idea. But the Kaliningrad region remains the leader in the assembly of motor vehicles (two plants are operating).


Not so long ago, the Kaluga Region joined the fight for the right to bear the dubious title of the Russian Detroit (dubious because the American auto industry has long been in a crisis, enterprises are closing, and Detroit is considered one of the ugliest and most criminal cities in the USA). A well-thought-out policy of attracting investors helped to get here Volkswagen, Volvo (trucks), the Peugeot-Citroen consortium and Mitsubishi. So far, only the Volkswagen plant produces cars, but two brands (Volkswagen and Skoda) and eight models. They promise that in the near future the list will expand.

Less than 150 km from Kaluga to Moscow, so I will take the liberty of combining the two cities into one cluster - Central. About halfway between them is the Serpukhov Automobile Plant, but it is now idle. But in the capital itself, as you know, cars are produced by the Avtoframos plant; there is only one model on the conveyor - Renault Logan.


In principle, it is quite possible that after some time (after the end of the crisis, it is understandable) two more clusters will form in the country: Southern and Ural. Two brands of cars are assembled at the Taganrog Automobile Plant (Rostov Region): TagAZ and Hyundai - today these are seven models. By the way, trucks and buses of the Hyundai brand are also produced in the same Taganrog. And the second TagAZ site for the assembly of cars in the city of Azov is only waiting for the hour when the market begins to recover …

There are two more car assembly plants in the Southern District. Now they cost more than they work, but they are ready, if the market conditions are favorable, to increase capacities. This is the Derways plant in Cherkessk, where the Chinese Lifan Breeze cars are manufactured, and the Argun Automobile Plant in the Chechen Republic, where they assemble the VAZ-2107.

In the Urals, several enterprises announced the launch of ambitious projects for the assembly of cars at once, but only the AMUR plant (Automobiles and Motors of the Urals) in the Sverdlovsk Region managed to implement them. It collected the Chinese "ZX-Landmark" and "Geely-SK." Now, due to the lack of demand (and also due to the negative attitude of the Russian government to all “Chinese projects” in general), production has practically stopped.




Today, the total annual potential of manufacturers is about 2.1 million passenger cars, and in three or four years it can increase to 3.1 million. What is not a great automobile power!