General Motors expects solid growth in Russia in 2012 image

General Motors is approaching several different Russian automakers for collaborations in order to boost its presence in the fast-growing market.

According to the InsideLine.com, GM plans to introduce new models in Russia, including the Aveo, Cobalt, Cruze, Orlando and the Camaro, with some of these models to be assembled locally by Avtotor, GAZ, and AvtoVAZ. GM will also build cars in Uzbekistan at the UzDaewoo plant.

GM has recently increased output at its plant in St. Petersburg to 100,000 cars a year, as the Cruze sedan was introduced to the Russian market. The automaker will continue to expand the plant’s annual capacity to 230,000 units by 2015.

GM’s sales forecasts for Russia are equally optimistic: according to GM Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) president Jim Bovenzi, the company expects its Russian sales to rise 65-70 percent in 2012, to 245,000 cars. At the beginning of 2013, GM plans to start Russian sales of the Chevrolet Cobalt, which will be imported from Uzbekistan. Bovenzi said GM has no immediate plans to shift assembly to Russia.

However, the U.S. automaker will launch production of the Chevrolet Aveo in Russia in 2012, first at the Avtotor plant in Kaliningrad and later at the Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ) in Nizhny Novgorod. GM also plans to start sales of the Cruze hatchbach and the new Opel Zafira this year, as well as the Camaro.