Category: New cars

Made In Russia. "Autotor" - Seriously And For A Long Time

Video: Made In Russia. "Autotor" - Seriously And For A Long Time
Made In Russia. "Autotor" - Seriously And For A Long Time
Made In Russia. "Autotor" - Seriously And For A Long Time

Someone, probably, laughed, someone twisted a finger at the temple, and someone hastened to inform the "competent authorities", but all together - of course, they would not believe it. And they did the right thing - there could be no talk of such projects at that time. Today, dozens of cars of four world brands go off the assembly line of the Kaliningrad AvtoTOR plant every day - and no one is surprised at this, as the Russian-made Hammer says.


“In the early 90s, the Kaliningrad region was at a crossroads - they were looking for new development models, new approaches and solutions,” recalls the ex-governor, now Chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic Policy of the regional Duma, Yuri Matochkin. - Fate brought us together with Vladimir Ivanovich Shcherbakov, the former vice-premier of the government of the USSR, and then - the head of the Interprivatization Fund.

Discussing with him options for the development of the Kaliningrad region, they came to the conclusion: we need to create some kind of system-forming industry, which would bring others around it. This could be the automotive industry.

Then we already tried to negotiate with representatives of Volkswagen, Volvo, but they were not ready to develop our market. Continuing the search for strategic partners, we simultaneously developed the principles of a special economic zone.

Ten years ago, in December 1994, the AutoTOR company was registered in Kaliningrad, and two years later a law on the special economic zone was adopted, two government decrees were signed, a presidential decree, and a local law on supporting automobile production in the region entered into force.

In 1997, the first KIA car rolled off the conveyor of AvtoTOR. And although the company did not succeed at first, as planned, I believe that it has very good prospects. Such a locomotive of the local economy has been created, which gradually transfers all other sectors to the rails of cooperation. And the money saved by tax benefits comes in the form of investments to develop the main production in the region.


The Kaliningrad region is the smallest in Russia, including the population, but the geographical center of Europe is located only 300 km east of the regional center, and, say, it is twice as close to Berlin as to Moscow. Along with other reasons, this dictated the creation of a special economic zone here. "Heart" became her "AvtoTOR". This is not just one factory, but two: BMW cars are assembled on the one, KIA on the second, Hammer and GM vehicles off-road, increasing production volumes by 70–80% per year. Now the company’s automobile enterprises employ more than 1, 500 people; investment in the project over 10 years exceeded $ 300 million.

The leaders of the plant are not without reason justified in the fact that in February 2001 AvtoTOR was the first company in the Russian automobile industry to receive the ISO 9002 international certificate of quality. The quality and high reliability of automobiles made it possible to increase the plant’s guarantee for passenger cars KIA to 5 years (or 120 thousand km of run), and for freight - up to 3 years (or 60 thousand km). This, of course, is impressive. But another thing is equally important. Six years ago, several dozen German specialists worked at the BMW assembly plant. Now - only one, Rolf Bettner, the authorized representative of the Bavarian concern in Kaliningrad.

“I am absolutely satisfied with the quality of work of our Russian colleagues,” he says. - The cars assembled here are no different from those that go off the assembly line in Germany. I have been in Kaliningrad for five years and am responsible for my words.


They don’t really like to talk about prospects here - whether they are close, distant, it doesn’t matter. Too many projects were born that were no longer destined to be realized. A couple of years ago, they planned to reach the level of 50 thousand cars a year - the bar (albeit not through the fault of the Russians) has not been reached to this day. KIA did not become a strategic partner, but only one (even the largest) of component suppliers. The projects for assembling Polish buses and German agricultural machinery, which were published at the time, were not implemented. Contracts with domestic manufacturers of components can be counted on the fingers … But despite this, optimism was not diminished either by plant managers or ordinary workers (the average salary here, by the way, is three times higher than


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