Category: New cars

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Video: the name obliges / flame for bad build? or stfu and learn? 2023, February
Name Obliges
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This is similar to harvesting: in the fall, the fruits of their work are shown by both domestic and foreign automobile companies. Perhaps the richest “bins” this year are with the GM-AvtoVAZ joint venture: in one issue of the magazine we talk about two premieres at once!

September 23 in Togliatti started production of the Chevrolet Viva model. The car, in all likelihood, will play a very prominent role in the market - by the way, the editorial office acquires one of the first commercial vehicles, so readers will be informed in detail about how Viva behaves. She will visit the training ground, count kilometers in long runs, visit service stations - the program is very eventful.

We will begin to implement it very soon, and in the first material, according to tradition, we give the floor to the designer: the Russian Chevrolet is represented by the model manager of the operating production of GM-AvtoVAZ JV.


How can a foreign company, specifically the giant General Motors, choose a car for production in Russia? It is clear that we must proceed, firstly, from local conditions, read - the preferences of customers. Secondly, rely on an already existing lineup, so as not to create a machine from scratch. Finally, take into account the existing production facilities (Togliatti joint venture, where Chevrolet Niva is already being made).

The first is more or less clear - the domestic market is ready to absorb a considerable number of cars, if only they are affordable and reliable: most dream of an inexpensive foreign car. Market research shows that C-Class sedans await the highest demand. Of all the models that are produced by numerous companies that are members of GM, perhaps the best candidate is the Opel Astra. A modern, not too expensive European car; however, why only European? Production of "asters" is established, for example, in South America, Australia, not to mention Poland. Again, a new generation of Astra was launched in Germany - some equipment was released “from under” the old car.

To finish with production issues, let's look in Togliatti, in the workshop of GM-AvtoVAZ enterprise. They are going to produce Chevrolet Niva with a 1.8-liter Opel engine - here you have the technological community of the two models. So, it was decided - in Russia they will assemble a car on the basis of the Opel-Astra generation of 1998-2003 (the so-called T-3000 platform). Such German-made cars sold well in Russia, they have gained experience, there are marketers' data - in general, the path is open.


However, transferring the “Astra” in its pure form would be wrong. It is necessary to adapt the car to Russian roads - the local operating experience of the Opel will come in handy. And of course, give the brand distinctive features - after all, the joint venture produces Chevrolet, not Opel! In addition, choose a motor, transmission, equipment … This work was carried out jointly with the Opel Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim - unlike the Niva, in which we cooperate with VAZ. Actually, the copyright holder in the case of Viva is a German company, so any design changes are agreed with our foreign partner.

Of the visible changes in appearance compared with the "asters" - a new radiator grille, nameplates and rear reflector. The issue of the original hood and front bumper is being worked out (at the time of writing, it had not yet been finally decided - ed.). With these small touches it was possible to refresh the appearance of the car, to introduce the Chevrolet style and, which is especially important for us, the Niva: both cars produced by the joint venture are endowed with “family” features.

Under the hood of the Viva, a 1.8 liter ECOTEC family gasoline engine is installed. However, we adhere to a different designation - Fam1. The fact is that the motor according to company specifications belongs to the first family - Family 1.

The 125-horsepower engine was selected both for reasons of unification with Niva, and on the recommendations of marketers. We believe that a rather powerful aggregate will strengthen market interest in our Viva. By the way, it complies with Euro IV and is capable of running on gasoline with an octane rating of 91.

Here, in the engine compartment, the distinctive features of the “Russian package” used on the “asters” sold in our country are noticeable. This, for example, a battery increased to 62 A.h capacity and motor protection.

The transmission has not undergone changes, and therefore we will go right to the suspension. The “Russian package” from “Astra” was also used here - the characteristics of the nodes were changed for Russian conditions. By the way, at one time, VAZ helped test German cars in Russia in order to adapt it to our conditions. Fundamentally, the pendants of “asters”, German and Russian, and “Viva” are no different. Cars for us externally stand out only with a high ground clearance.

If the “Astra” had versions on 14-inch wheels, then “Viva” is put only on 15-inch ones. The same applies to ABS - all Chevrolets are equipped with anti-lock braking system. The list of standard equipment includes power steering, central locking, immobilizer; radio preparation is also undertaken by the manufacturer.

The interior has undergone some changes. To emphasize the continuity with the Niva, we changed the material and the colors of the seats - choosing the same gamut as for all-wheel drive cars. Again, it slightly refreshed the rather prim interior of the Astra. It is curious that the Russian materials were carefully tested by Opel, and the company completely entrusted us with the choice of color.

For “Viva” there are two levels of equipment - L and GLS (see table).


The first 24 cars in Tolyatti will be assembled in bodies that will be welded at the Polish Opel plant. Already this year, the joint venture launches its own welding shop, in the future plans - stamping. From the very beginning, “Viva” will be painted with us - by the way, the color scheme is the same as for “Niva”. We are assembling on the same conveyor, that is, a separate model (and personnel!) Will not require a new model. This year, the joint venture will produce several hundred cars, and by 2006 we are ready to reach full capacity, planned at the level of 17 thousand Chevrolet-viv annually. It is possible that later Viva versions will appear - with different engines, in other bodies …

There is a localization program for production, but our goal is not to introduce Russian products at any cost: it is important to produce a high-quality car. All domestic components, before getting to the joint venture conveyor, will undergo a rigorous test, not only here, but also in the technical center in Germany. On the first cars, only fabric upholstery of seats and door inserts will be Russian. We hope that very soon we will be able to use the seats assembled in Nizhny Novgorod according to the Opel documentation. Following, obviously, will be the turn of wheels, tires, and batteries.


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