GAZ Stumbles in Russia
By Brendan Moore
The Russian automaker GAZ has been struggling lately, victim of an almost 50% drop in vehicle sales in its home market. The Russian market as a whole has dropped almost 60% in 2009.
GAZ is the auto manufacturer part of the consortium that Magna is leading regarding the bid for Opel. Russian business magnate Oleg Deripaska is the person that controls GAZ’s fortunes.
GAZ has received Russian government aid to the tune of almost 26 billion rubles (approximately $832 million USD) so far, and its fortunes are not looking up anytime soon. One of the biggest disappointments for GAZ has been their Volga Siber sedan, which can’t seem to get any traction in the Russian market.
The Volga Siber, for those of you that are unaware, is the last-generation Chrysler Sebring with some new sheet metal. It is available with two of Chrysler’s previous four-cylinder engines; a 2.0 liter and the 2.4 liter.
2009 Volga Siber side view
When Chrysler moved to the current-generation Sebring, GAZ was there with an offer for tooling and everything else having to do with the old Sebring, so Chrysler pulled the trigger and sold the 2006 Sebring to the Russian automaker.
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