Fiat makes comeback in Russian market

Fiat is to return to the Russian market for the first time since the late 1990s. An agreement between Italy’s Fiat Group and Russia’s Severstal Avto will see the manufacturing and import of Fiat cars by the end of the year. Under the deal, the two comp

Analysts say the Russian market will benefit from the deal. Elena Sakhnova, analyst with Deutsche UFG, said: “This deal will give additional technology to the Russian company Severstal Avto. More importantly, it will help an important segment of the market like commercial vehicles which is growing very quickly.”

The companies aim to achieve a 5 percent market share by 2010. This latest project targets consumers between the ages of 25 and 30.

Severstal Avto says consumers will also benefit from the high quality of Fiat cars. Vadim Shvetzov, General Director of Severstal Avto, said: “Fiat provides to the customer good solutions on quality and price and a good range of products. I think the joint strategy of Fiat and Severstal Auto will be good news for the consumer.”  

Fiat says the Russian market fits well with its international strategy. Luca de Meo, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Fiat, said: “We have seen the strong development of the Russian market and we believe that in the next few years it will be even better. I think we now have the products to re-enter the market in a credible way.”

Fiat last tried to enter the Russian market in 1997, but it suffered from poor timing when the economic crisis struck the following year.