COMMENT: Two days in GAZ's Nizhny Novgorod plant: some quotes

By Simon Warburton | 14 February 2013

Slogan reads: Thank you for your honest labour

Slogan reads: 'Thank you for your honest labour'

Last week saw GAZ Group start Chevrolet Aveo production at its Nizhny Novgorod plant in Russia. Just-auto's Simon Warburton spent a couple of days at the site and took a small sample of the Russian outlook that has seen overseas OEMs look at the country with interest.

"We sold our millionth Chevrolet last year and it was to a customer right here." General Motors Russia managing director, Jim Bovenzi.

"It [WTO agreement] is 34 or even 40 thick volumes, the size of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy." Basic Element chairman, Oleg Deripaska, on World Trade Agreement with Russia.

"Being an engineer, I am not quite sure why we have to operate Euro V in Siberia." GAZ design engineer, R&D Centre, Vladimir Chetevrikov.

"People are waiting to get their annual bonuses," OAO GAZ primary trade union organisation leader, Sergei Solodov, at Bo Andersson's morning heads of department briefing.

"Productivity creates new jobs and high remuneration - that is the objective of any government - any State." Nizhny Novgorod regional Governor, Valezy Shantsev, at the ceremony to mark production of GM's first Chevrolet Aveo.

"Most people felt it was the wrong decision to step out of passenger cars. It was not an easy decision, but it was necessary. My short-term thinking was if you don't do something, you will just die." Bo Andersson on GAZ exit from its own car production. It now produces passenger vehicles for General Motors, Volkswagen and Skoda.

"In Russia, you don't have unlimited hot water, so you have a trade-off between making a cup of tea or taking a shower."  GAZ Group CEO, Bo Andersson, on the company's installation of showers at the plant.

"Deripaska is the prototype of the Russian entrepreneur," Russian Machines and GAZ parent, chairman, Siegfried Wolf.

"I would not believe we go near to buy something in Europe at this moment." Oleg Deripaska on whether or not GAZ could look at investing in European companies.

"Thank you for your honest labour," GAZ plant exit sign.

"If you work in the paint shop, we typically send people to sanitoriums. I am Swedish and somewhat socialistic, I like to take care of people." Bo Andersson.