GM's Russian venture hits a speed bump

Production of GM Niva SUVs and Viva sedans in Russia has ground to a halt - and nobody knows why. The GM AvtoVaz joint venture plant near the Kazakhstan border has been idle since Monday, when AvtoVAZ stopped delivering parts to the plant.
Automotive News reports that GM Europe apparently has no clue when production will resume, and AvtoVAZ says it may make a statement about the situation on Monday. Or not.

It sounds like this may be the new Russian capitalism in action - AvtoVAZ was recently and unexpectedly put under new management by state-run Rosoboronexport, possibly as part of a government strategy to create a competitive Russian player in the booming domestic market, which is rapidly becoming dominated by foreign companies. AvtoVAZ, best known as the manufacturer of the lamentable Lada, then announced that it will build a new manufacturing plant with state funding and may withdraw from the GM joint venture.

GM builds 54,000 vehicles a year at the GM AvtoVAZ plant, and the operation is the backbone of GM's effort to grow market share in Russia, where Chevrolet is the second-biggest foreign brand.

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