GAZ Group may stop producing Volga Siber cars this year, Kommersant business daily reported on Friday, citing Nikolai Pugin, president of Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ), a part of the group.
However, a final decision has not been made yet, he told the paper.
The group failed to implement its initial idea to make Volga Siber an executive car, Pugin said. However, this doesn’t mean that GAZ Group plans to fully forego manufacturing passenger cars, he added. The group should develop its passenger car segment jointly with a foreign partner rather than independently, he said.
GAZ Group launched commercial production of Volga Siber cars in July 2008. The company had bought the rights to the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Stratus platform and the Siber, developed with help from British company UltraMotive, was put into production in a new factory whose workers were trained in Chrysler and Magna Steyr assembly plants.
The plant was built with 100,000-unit annual capacity and the 2008 target was 20,000 cars with 40,000 the following year.
Though GAZ planned to become a serious player in passenger car production, low demand for the Siber vehicles didn’t allow it to achieve its goals, Kommersant said today – it ended up producing only 2,200 units in 2009, having suspended output in April, according to local media reports at the time.