Yesterday, a publication appeared in the German edition of Der Spiegel, which made a lot of noise. It provides details of the project for the resumption of the Volkswagen AG auto concern in Russia, but a little “modified” externally and under the legendary Soviet brands Volga and Pobeda.
Siegfried Wolf, former chairman of the board of directors of the GAZ Group, came up with this idea. He wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin in which he proposed setting up production of the new Volga and Pobeda at two sites where Volkswagen AG cars were previously assembled: at the Russian Volkswagen plant in Kaluga and in Nizhny Novgorod at the GAZ plant. The implementation of the project, according to data provided by Spiegel, requires a loan of 60 billion rubles and the payment of salaries from the state budget for workers at both plants within 9 months. Impressive investments would make it possible to produce 270 thousand cars a year! This is more than AvtoVAZ produced last year, but generally corresponds to the combined capacity of both sites. At the same time, Wolf allegedly enlisted the support of Volkswagen itself to implement the project.
It is not clear whether the letter reached the addressee and whether Mr. Wolf’s plan was discussed at all, but Volkswagen eventually decided to sell its plant to the Avilon dealer (according to the latest rumors, Avilon will acquire the plant together with Chinese Chery). The leadership of GAZ did not like this (as auto expert Sergey Tsyganov writes in his Telegram channel, “GAZ did a lot of work, some even showed prototypes [новых] “Volg””), and through the courts it secured the arrest of Russian assets of Volkswagen.
And then – already what we know: the court removed the arrest from the Kaluga plant VolkswagenBut GAZ labor collectives decided to apply to the government of the Russian Federation with the demand “to take control of this situation and not allow Volkswagen to leave Russia.” Now it becomes clear how Volkswagen could stay in Russia.