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21 Apr, 2010 12:48

Truckmakers upbeat about Russian market and expansion

Russian truckmakers looking to expand internationally, and global players with an eye on the Russian market, are upbeat about the outlook for the sector.

Russian truck maker Kamaz has managed to shrug off the financial crisis by increasing its Russian market share in Heavy Utility Vehicles to 60 percent.

In January, it successfully expanded its production by opening a plant in India, and Head of Marketing, Ashot Arutyunyan, says Kamaz is also looking at China.

“Just now we are thinking about China. A month ago I was in China and I was speaking to our partners. We just tried to understand our joint venture and all the figures about this project. And we are going to produce about 10 thousand trucks maybe five years later, and at the same time we want to have two legs in the project. I mean first production and second distribution. So we are interested in Chinese market.”

Renault Trucks Vostok, which was established by in 2002 has been steadily increasing its market share in Russia, despite being affected by the crisis. Managing Director, Fabrice Gorlier, insists that the Russian truck market is a key to their future development.

“Russia is the biggest market in Europe, and that’s why we believe in this market. Last year it was a tough year for us, and for everybody. The market share was 7% and since the beginning of the year we have achieved 10% of the market. So it’s a good performance for us, but forecast for 2012 to have 15% of market share, with the presence of a plant in Kaluga. It is one hundred plants we have in the world, after in France, so its important to us to increase our market share.”

Volvo Trucks have been present on the Russian market for over 35 years and boast being market leaders for the last 12 years. Managing Director, Lars Corneliusson, says the increased integration of global truckmakers with the Russian market is a boon for both the truckmaking sector in Russia, and the transport industry

“I think the Russian automotive industry in general is getting huge advantages of foreign companies such as ourselves establishing themselves more and more with an industrial presence. It will create opportunities for the whole industry. Not only for ourselves, but also for the component factories and for transport companies. So I view these investments as very positive for the Russian automotive industry, and for the Russian transport industry.”

And after a difficult couple of years, Russian carmaker GAZ is setting its sights on capturing more of the domestic market.

Speaking exclusively with RT, GAZ President Bo Andersson spelled out his expectations for the group.