VW Announces Russian Shutdown, Cites Floundering Market
11 September 2014 - Autoblog
The Russian auto industry is not in a great place right now. A weakened currency, the rouble, is stinging automakers, and in the case of Volkswagen, has prompted a trimming of production.
VW lowered production projections at its Kaluga factory from 150,000 units per year to just 120,000. Kaluga, which builds the Tiguan crossover (shown above with Russia's Vladimir Putin) and Polo compact, as well as the Skoda Fabia and Octavia, kicked off its production reduction yesterday, with the start of a ten-day furlough.
The German manufacturer isn't exactly pulling the plug on its Russian ops – VW was quick to point out to Reuters that a new engine production facility and parts depot will go online in Russia next year – although VW's trimming of expectations does reflect larger concerns in the country, the most obvious of which were voiced by Opel.
"There is no doubt that the situation in Russia is a concern. The market has shrunk substantially over the past few months and the Ukraine crisis has added to the uncertainty," Opel spokesman Peter Christian Kuespert told Automobilwoche, according to Reuters.