As socialbites.ca learned, since July 22, the general director of the all-Russian representative office of Volkswagen Group Rus has changed: Gerrit Spengler has replaced Jan Witte, the manager appointed just a month ago. Until then, the latter served as HR Director at Volkswagen’s Russian subsidiary.
Two sources of socialbites.ca – in Volkswagen Group Rus and in the automobile business – reported that the plant is preparing for sale.
“Two potential buyer delegations from Kazakhstan and Austria have already visited the facility.
The officials of the Ministry of Industry and Trade also came,” said one of socialbites.ca’s interlocutors.
socialbites.ca has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to comment on the potential sale of the Russian Volkswagen plant and the recovery of state subsidies for the auto company as part of its obligations under a private investment contract (SPIC). At the time of publication, there was no prompt response from the editorial office. Volkswagen’s official representative in Russia also did not answer questions from the publication at the time of publication of the material.
The recent appointment of the head of the All-Russian office, although high-ranking, but in fact “Hychar”, indirectly indicates the preparations for the sale of all assets of the company in the Russian Federation, believes Sergey Burgazliev, an independent consultant on the automotive industry
“If a marketer, a strategist, an excellent technical specialist is assigned to this position, it is a vector of development.
If an HR director is appointed, then it all comes down to shortening or significantly reducing the job,”
– the expert noted in an interview with socialbites.ca.
Burgazliev believes that a work plan could be an agreement with Uzbek or Kazakh car companies for Volkswagen to continue its business and even production in the Russian Federation under Western sanctions. According to him, an umbrella brand can be created in the Russian market, similar to Ravon (worked in the Russian Federation from 2015 to 2019), which previously sold models of the GM concern, which left the Russian market.
“Probably Volkswagen has a desire to preserve the asset in one way or another.
And even for a loan that Volkswagen will somehow finance, they want to go according to the plan to transfer the plant to another owner.”
According to the interlocutor, a logical option for the German concern would be an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan to revive the bankrupt plant “Asia-Avto”, the latter will be able to gain control over Volkswagen plant Kaluga.
“Asya-Avto will own it, and the Kazakhstan government will act as a guarantor for the Germans’ refund through Asia-Avto operations,” the interlocutor said.
Earlier, socialbites.ca reported that Volkswagen has closed its site in Nizhny Novgorod at the premises of the GAZ Group. This information was confirmed by the press service of the Russian office of Volkswagen.
“Given the high level of uncertainty in general and the inability to predict the potential resumption of production in Nizhny Novgorod,
“Volkswagen Group Rus” has decided to initiate the official procedure to close its office in Nizhny Novgorod on 07/05/2022″,
– said the official representative of the company Natalya Kostyukovich “socialbites.ca”.
The Skoda Kodiaq, Karoq, Octavia and Volkswagen Taos were produced at the Volkswagen plant in Nizhny Novgorod. The design capacity of the facility is 132,000 vehicles per year.
Factory employees, depending on their length of service, the administration offered to leave the job by paying their six-month wages with the agreement of the parties. GAZ Group does not plan to dismantle the assembly site itself, waiting for another investor to arrive.
The German concern announced the suspension of automobile production in Kaluga and contract assembly in Nizhny Novgorod on March 3, 2022, tying its decision to violations of supply chains amid Western sanctions due to events in Ukraine. At the same time, the company reported the suspension of exports of cars and spare parts to the Russian Federation.
At the end of May, Volkswagen announced that it will not resume production of cars in Russia in the near future.
The concern’s factory in Kaluga produced 118,000 vehicles in 2021 and 52,300 vehicles at the plant in Nizhny Novgorod. In addition, 96,100 engines were produced at the Russian Volkswagen plant in 2021.