In Switzerland, as you know, there is no automobile industry of its own and you will not see the dominance of national brands at a salon in Geneva, as happens at exhibitions in Paris or Frankfurt. In Geneva, however, it is more appropriate, talking with distinguished guests, to talk about the automotive prospects of Russia. Of course, first of all with representatives of those companies for which production in the Russian Federation has become or is becoming a reality.
We tried to take this opportunity.
TOYOTA INCREASES SALES
Andrea Formica, Toyota Motor Europe vice president of sales and marketing
The Russian Toyota plant will be ready by the end of 2007 and will start with the production of Camry. Initially, we plan to produce 20 thousand cars, despite the fact that the maximum capacity of the enterprise will be 50 thousand per year. These volumes are limited by the possibilities of localizing production and the size of the market. But Toyota has good prospects in Russia. This year we plan to sell about 90 thousand Toyota and Lexus here. In terms of sales of the latter in Europe, Russia is in second place, and in fourth place in the world.
A Russian dealer sells on average ten times more cars than a European one. It offers all the models that are present in Europe, including new items. At the end of last year, we introduced the new Yaris, now the new Toyota RAV4 is starting, which I am sure has good prospects in Russia. I also note that next year the Corolla, which is popular in the Russian market, will have a successor - with a sedan body.
Toyota has no cooperation plans with AvtoVAZ, but, striving to localize production, we look forward to long-term relations with Russian automobile enterprises.
A few words about hybrid models. Of these, Lexus is already being sold in Russia. Now the most important thing is to spread as much knowledge about “hybrids” as possible. Most still mistakenly believe that they need to be constantly recharged.
IN VSEVOLOGSK ONLY “FOCUS”
Ingvar Sviggum, Vice President Ford Europe
Our interlocutor does not hide that, along with the problem of Russian suppliers, there are other unforeseen difficulties that impede the development of production. In particular, strikes that markedly complicate the life of the enterprise. Nevertheless, he is confident that the plant in Vsevolozhsk will produce 72 thousand cars this year, but only “tricks”.
Increasing capacities requires additional investments, but investments can only be made in countries where the situation is stable in power and in the availability of labor.
Speaking about the state’s ability to control the automotive industry, Mr. Swiggum noted that he still does not know a single government that could manage the car factory.
RENAULT SEEKING SUPPLIERS FOR MOSCOW FACTORY
For the first time in Geneva, they showed a crossover based on the Logan. Of course, we were interested in the possibility of its appearance in the products of the Moscow plant. This is what Michel Gornet, Deputy General Manager for Production and Logistics, said about this.
This car for outdoor activities is only a prototype. In the near future it is not necessary to count on its production in Moscow. The factory has other tasks here - to produce enough cars to satisfy their demand. On our agenda is the introduction of the third shift. According to the plan, she will start working in June of this year. Only after this can the question arise of expanding production in Russia, and not necessarily in Moscow. Perhaps elsewhere. Unfortunately, I can’t say more about our future plans. I’m only sure of one thing - the issue of expanding the output arises when success comes to the car.