Stadco, the first European body-in-white (BIW) company to operate in Russia, has further plans to develop business growth opportunities in the fast expanding market.

Speaking at the Russian Automotive Industry conference in Moscow, Stadco managing director Andrew Morriss said the company was in discussions with a number of leading international OEMs about establishing a dedicated pressings and assembly facility in Russia to augment its existing projects in the country.

Earlier this year Stadco announced a pioneering arrangement with Severstal-Auto to offer the growing number of international car makers moving into Russia with modern, high quality stamping and assembly facilities backed up by full engineering support services and established supply chain management processes.

Morriss told delegates: “Both indigenous and incoming OEMs are recognising that to bring localised BIW operations up to European standards will require significant investments, which can be hard to justify.”

Stadco anticipates that the Russian supply base will mature significantly over the next five years and market growth in the BIW sector will rise from EUR30m in 2007 to about EUR150m in 2012. A number of leading OEMs including Toyota and Ford are either building plants or have started vehicle production in the St Petersburg area and Mitsubishi is considering a joint venture with PSA Peugeot-Citroen.

By the end of 2008 alone, Stadco anticipates that annual vehicle production by incoming OEMs will increase to over 300,000 units.

Morriss said: “As the first Tier 1 supplier to establish a strong BIW presence in Russia, Stadco is well placed to offer these OEMs modern facilities featuring the latest automated processes which will meet the international quality, cost and delivery standards expected.

“We look forward to the opportunity to offer stamping and assembly support to an international OEM in Russia which will allow us to establish a world-class facility that can offer these capabilities.  It will augment our existing projects with Severstal-Auto and cement our business growth strategy in this fast expanding automotive market.”