Friday, 22 June 2012

General Motors Enters New Era in Russia

Breaks ground for St. Petersburg plant expansion

General Motors broke ground today for the expansion of GM Auto, its wholly owned manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, Russia. It will more than double GM Auto’s annual production capacity from the current 98,000 vehicles to 230,000 vehicles by 2015.

The project is the most significant development for GM’s Russian operations since GM Auto opened in 2008.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson greets workers at GM Auto in St. Petersburg, Russia
GM Auto’s expansion is part of an historic partnership formed last year with the Russian Federal Ministry of Economic Development that will lead to GM investing US $1 billion in its Russian operations over the next five years. The investment will also support the increase of production at the GM-AVTOVAZ joint venture in Togliatti, Russia, resulting in combined annual Russian production capacity for GM of 350,000 vehicles.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson (on left) greets former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (on right)

GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson, Russian Federal Deputy Minister Alexey Rakhmanov, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger joined senior representatives from GM Russia and GM Auto employees at today’s celebration.

When the expansion is complete, employment at the facility will increase from 2,500 to 4,000 people. They will manufacture Chevrolet and Opel models for the Russian market. Among the additional vehicles that will be produced at GM Auto is the new Opel Astra sedan, which will make its worldwide debut at the Moscow International Motor Show in August.

“General Motors is embarking on a new era in Russia, one of the world’s fastest-growing vehicle markets, as part of our strategy to build where we sell,” said Akerson. “The global vehicles that we produce and the manufacturing systems that we are putting in place are creating long-term benefits for Russia’s automotive industry, its supply base and its economy.
General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson on Friday, June 22, 2012, before the groundbreaking for the expansion of GM Auto, its wholly owned manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, Russia

“Our growing investment is the strongest possible endorsement by General Motors of our intent to make Russia a significant part of our international operations. Our vision in Russia, as in all of the other markets where we do business, is to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles,” he said.

During his three-day visit to Russia, Akerson also addressed business leaders and media at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 22. He discussed the importance of investing first in products and technology, being well-positioned for profitable growth and building strong brands that connect with customers worldwide.

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