Russian Machines division, GAZ Group produced buses for Sochi Winter Olympics

Russian Machines division, GAZ Group produced buses for Sochi Winter Olympics

GAZ Group parent, Russian Machines says "not one rouble" is wasted in the company as it continues its efficiency moves to drive down costs in the business.

The vehicle division of Russian Machines revamped its line-up and last year alone either launched or modernised a product every month, while also increasing its export markets from 23 countries in 2013 to 33 in 2014 as part of tycoon owner, Oleg Deripaska's busines plan.

During the past five years, GAZ has spent more than US$1bn on new technologies as well as updating its product range which includes models such as the Next LCV, GAZon Next, Ural Next and Vector Next bus, as well as its contract manufacturing roles with Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Skoda and Mercedes-Benz.

"We did create 5,000 jobs with contract manufacturing," Russian Machines CEO, Manfred Eibeck told just-auto in Moscow. "It was extremely difficult for GAZ during the crisis

"We have not one rouble exclusive for any fancy things. We are Russian Machines, 57,000 and we [had] some headcount reduction last year...to adjust to the downsizing.

"I am here now for more than eight years and we have built up five operations out of nothing. I feel it as an outsider - you really get a lot out of it if you give people freedom."

Eibeck added the company had undertaken significant refurbishment of facilities such as canteens and toilets, "which are like to a standard anywhere in the world, that is not the case some time ago," while it was also introducing a one month pay bonus if the business achieves EBITDA.

"It is not fighting, it is making both sides understand," said Eibeck. "It is important to keep the workforce involved. That will be one of our competitive advantages.

"This country was a manufacturing country and if we continue this, it can stabilise. With or without political issues, it will come anyhow. It is important we increase wages because we can't lose people."

Fellow-domestic Russian manufacturer, AvtoVAZ also revealed recently it had increased wages by 6%, with CEO, Bo Andersson noting to just-auto in St Petersburg, the company would dispense with a 13th salary month and switch instead to a profit sharing scheme.

GAZ president, Vadim Sorokin said all the manufacturer's employees were also involved in a profit-sharing scheme "in proportion to efficiency."