More than 1.5 million vehicles were made in Russia last year. This country has long been one of the main car producers in charge of supplying both the local public and the markets of the former Soviet Union.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine many have been the car manufacturers that have decided to close their doors. The economic uncertainty together with the devaluation of the ruble and the lack of many parts are causing the few firms that have tried not to close to finally have made some stoppages.
Better known as Autovaz in its domestic market, it has several plants from which all its models come out. The main problem is that relies heavily on parts being shipped from Morocco, Spain and Romania for the production of most of its most modern vehicles, and with the sanctions it is impossible to resume production.
Autovaz has announced that it is working with local partners to be able to start production of some models with parts produced in Russia as soon as possible. The idea is not to interrupt the production of the Niva Legend and Niva Traveland finish manufacturing some units of the Granta and Vesta with the remaining material.
- X ray
- niva legend
Owner of 68% of Lada/Autovaz, Renault has it very difficult not to lose out regardless of what it does. If they decide to leave, they will lose no less than 10% of their worldwide sales, while if they decide to stay, they could lose a large number of clients who would be unhappy that they do not join the sanctions. It is certainly complicated.
The French firm uses several Autovaz plants to produce several of its most successful models, which, as you well know, derive from the well-known Dacias marketed in the rest of Europe. Even the Kaptur and Arkana, despite their appearance, have the old platform of the Dacia Duster above and not the one carried by the European versions with the same name.
The German firm has been one of the first to apply the complete closure, both in dealerships and in production plants. Currently cars are not sold to the public and the few dealers that are doing so have multiplied prices by up to four, making it almost impossible to purchase a model of the brand.
The firm’s best-selling model is the Polo, a vehicle that in this country is specific with its four-door sedan body and classic style. Also produced in the same facilities as Polo (Kaluga) are the short-body Tiguans, a crossover that is also in high demand. Some commercials are also produced in the country such as the Crafter.
The Czech firm shares assembly lines with Volkswagen and in recent years had managed to considerably increase its presence in Russia, achieving a prominent place among the 10 most demanded firms in the country. All this is already past water and we do not know what will happen in the future.
The most demanded model of Skoda on Russian soil has always been the Rapid, a sedan that in this latest generation shares many elements with the Volkswagen Polo Sedan. Both the Octavia and the Kodiaq have also enjoyed great popularity, although in recent months the Karoq has been climbing positions.
The South Korean manufacturer is one of the few that has sought at all costs to remain active in Russia… and it is understandable judging by the high sales they achieve year after year in this market. The Kia Rio is the star product of the firm and a regular on the streets of the country.
Most of the vehicles that are sold are assembled or produced in Russia, something that users like very much as it creates a lot of work in the regions where they have the factories. In addition to the popular Rio, K5 (Optima), Sportage and Seltos are selling very well.
Another firm with high sales in Russia is Hyundai. It has a plant in Saint Petersburg that works at a good pace to supply both a good part of its products and the Kia Rio (the only Kia model not produced in Kalingrad), a vehicle derived from the Hyundai Solaris Hatchback and Solaris Sedan.
The South Korean brand is very successful with the Creta crossover, which month after month ranks as one of the best-selling models in its class in the country. The firm planned to start production of the New Tucson and Sportage KN5 in the next few weeks but now all this is up in the air.
- Santa Fe
The Japanese firm has closed its facilities in Russia and evacuated the staff from the Moscow plant until the situation returns to normal. For now, the brand produces RAV4 and Camry on Russian soil.two models with high sales in the country that are usually in the Top25 month after month.
Toyota is one of the most popular firms on Russian streets, but most of the vehicles you see are right-hand drive. japan used to sell thousands of units each year to this country with an age between 5 and 10 years. They are vehicles that Japan is not interested in maintaining as they have higher maintenance costs, and Russia gladly accepts them because of their good prices.
The most popular used vehicles of the Japanese firm are the Carina and Corona, Corolla, Probox, Premio and Prius, although the latter is usually destined for Mongolia as it has tax advantages. Without Japanese imports the Russian car market will suffer even moreraising prices to levels that will be impossible for a majority.
The Nissan plant in St. Petersburg has always enjoyed high levels of production and its models have also been very well received. At the moment the factory is closed and it is not known what will happen since they depend on sanctions. As with Renault and Autovaz, many parts should come from Western Europe.
The most successful model is the Qashqai, a compact crossover that has been very popular with users since its launch. It is a regular in the streets of the main Russian cities such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok or Yekaterinburg.
- X Trail
Chinese firms do not plan to close even a single day if possible. Despite this, Haval has had to give its employees a few days off to be able to locate parts necessary for the production of the F7, F7X and Jolion. The latter has been so successful that it is already one of the best-selling models in Russia.
The plant located in Tula is responsible for producing the F7 and F7X for all CIS markets and Bulgaria, the European Union market that receives several dozen a year. The Jolion is the newest product and thanks to its reasonable price it is a hit with young people. This factory has a capacity for 150,000 units per year that were already falling short.
Located in Vladivostok, right in the easternmost part of the country, Mazda produces in collaboration with Sollers several models that are mainly destined for the local Russian public. Given the proximity to Japan, production costs are greatly reduced.
The most successful model produced on Russian soil is the Mazda CX-5, a crossover that is often among the top 25 best-selling cars in the country. Several thousand units of the Mazda6 are also produced, but classic sedans are also suffering from the “SUV” trend in Russia. The CX-9 completes the range.
Another Japanese firm that has very high sales on Russian soil and has had a hard time making the decision to close, although they have finally done so. The Outlander and Pajero Sport are produced here for the local market in its most demanded versions, leaving the hybrid PHEV motorization of the Outlander for the Japanese plants.
The German firm also assembles some of its most luxurious models on Russian soil to supply local demand. The plant located just 40 km from Moscow is responsible for producing the Mercedes E-Class with saloon and GLE bodywork, among others. Every year more than 25,000 units leave for Russia and other border markets.
Kalingrad is the location of the plant responsible for assembling various models of the German manufacturer. Although it might seem strange, the same facilities leave the BMW X3, X4 or X6…and various Kia products. And it is that the same company is dedicated to the assembly of models of various brands.
This giant, which owns many brands that are very popular on European soil, does not carry much weight in Russia. Here are produced Citroen C4L (a sedan based on the previous generation), peugeot 408 (another sedan derived from the previous 308), the Berlingo, Combo and Partner previous generation, and Jumpy/Spacetourer, Expert/Traveller and Vivaro/Zafira.
The firm owned by hyundai has recently produced several models in the same facilities as BMW and Kia. Specifically, it is in Kaliningrad that more than 6,000 units a year of G70, G80, G90 and GV80 with only destination the local market.
UAZ and GAZ
Of course we cannot forget UAZ that being a local firm produces the Hunter and Patriot, in addition to many other commercials. The firm hopes to continue producing its models without problems, although they have already warned that it will be difficult to maintain the current level of production. GAZ for its part has the Sobola highly successful commercial in this market.
Some Chinese firms come and go depending on the moment, and it is difficult to have the exact information at the moment. Geely, JAC, Lifan or Great Wall have worked with Derways for the assembly of various models. Volvo For its part, the production of trucks has ceased, something extensible to Isuzu. Caterpillar, Liaz, Kamaz, Volga, KAVZ They are another of the many industrial manufacturers in the country that could now have supply problems.