General Motors Increase Investment and
Capacity at New St. Petersburg Assembly Plant
General Motors Europe President,
Carl-Peter Forster, announced today that the world’s largest
car-maker will more than double the originally planned capacity
of the new assembly plant it is building in Shushary on the
outskirts of Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, to 70,000.
“Russia is our biggest market for Chevrolet in Europe,” said
Forster. “Demand continues to grow and we will be in an even
better position to meet that demand when Shushary goes on stream
in 2008.” The Russian vehicle market became the fifth largest in
Europe in 2006 with year-on-year growth of 22 percent. General
Motors sold more than 132,000 cars on the Russian market in
2006, of which over 84 percent were Chevrolets. In the first two
months of 2007, 25,981 GM cars (20,805 Chevrolet) were sold in
General Motors is investing $300
million in the St. Petersburg project. The new plant will
complement existing GM operations in Togliatti and Kaliningrad.
GM Avtovaz in Togliatti, established in 2001 as the first joint
venture on the Russian automotive market, builds the Chevrolet
Niva and Viva. In 2004, GM partner Avtotor began SKD operations
in Kaliningrad where Cadillac, Hummer and Chevrolet models are
now assembled. The new plant in St. Petersburg will produce
Chevrolet Captiva SUVs and a new generation of compact cars from
CKD kits in two shifts. Start of production is scheduled for the
end of 2008.
The new plant will operate according to
General Motors’ global manufacturing system to ensure the
highest levels of quality. It will employ about 900 workers,
engineers and managers. They will be trained both at GM
manufacturing facilities and the GM academy. The plant will
employ both experienced employees and young specialists. "GM has
been a pioneer investor in the Russian automobile market. Our
latest investment reflects our desire to build our cars and
trucks in the major markets that we sell them, and our
commitment to supporting industrial growth and employment in the
Russian market", said Warren Browne, GM Executive in Charge of
Every stage of the project
development took place in close collaboration with the St.
Petersburg city authorities who have created favourable
conditions for foreign investors. The recently approved general
plan of development of St. Petersburg and a new set of tax laws
and new rules of development have created unprecedented
opportunities for business to develop in the city on the Neva.
"We are very pleased with General Motors’ decision to increase
their plant investment and production volume. The company has
made the right choice to build their plant in St. Petersburg.
On our side we will do everything
required for the project to be realized on time. We are
investing heavily into modernizing the infrastructure and
development of the new industrial zones. In 2007 there were
additional funds allocated in the St. Petersburg budget to train
qualified specialists for the new facilities. The set-up of new
technological automotive production facilities in St. Petersburg
facilitates the establishment of a new industry sector for the
city – that of the car assembly industry. We believe St.
Petersburg is well positioned to become the “Russian Detroit ",
indicated Valentina Matvienko, Governor of St. Petersburg.