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Russia's New Volga Siber


29th July, 2008

Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the car plant on the eve of production

The GAZ Group launched the series production of its new car, the Volga Siber, last week. The company's production facilities are capable of manufacturing up to 100,000 cars per annum. The new car will be available from 1st September, 2008 in 12 Russian regions through the company's 68 dealers. All dealers meet the relevant international standards for sales and service.

Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the car plant on the eve of production and took the new car for a test drive.

"It takes off fast and they've increased the clearance. It will be fine for our roads," he said after seeing the main 300-metre conveyor belt, which utilises a modern overhead assembly line. The Prime Minister highlighted the quality control system which has been introduced at all stages of the car's development and production.

"Today we have launched a project which will open up a new phase in Russia's car manufacturing industry," said Sergey Zanozin, Chairman of the GAZ Group, speaking at the opening ceremony. "The GAZ Group has started to produce a new line of cars under the Volga brand on platforms from the world's leading manufacturers. The new production facility has the flexible capacity needed to bring new models into production at minimal cost and investment in the future."

Volga Siber production

The launch ceremony was attended by James C. Epolito, President & CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (USA). The State of Michigan became the second homeland for the new Siber as a result of a close cooperation between GAZ Group and Chrysler LLC, as the two companies work closely on the production of the car as well as with automotive components manufacturers supplying parts from Michigan for the new car. Mr. Epolito passed on the official greetings from Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan. As Governor Granholm writes: “The Siber project was very exciting to learn about and I am interested in its progress following its introduction to Russia. I am confident that it will be very successful! The Michigan companies you are working with are some of the best in the world and will take great pride in contributing to your company’s success.”

“We look forward to a long-lasting relationship and strong partnership between the State of Michigan, GAZ Group and Chrysler, stated Mr Epolito. “I am the first American who drove Volga Siber today at test-drive, and I will be the first American who will buy the car and will drive it in USA. I liked it very much!”

The Siber model is based on a platform acquired from Chrysler and was designed by the leading British studio UltraMotive, which took into account the latest trends in modern car design. The Siber is fully adapted to Russia's roads and harsh winter conditions. The Siber platform has a stiffer suspension and increased ground clearance compared with the original platform.

Volga Siber production

Production of a pilot series of the Volga Siber began in the northern spring 2008. The test vehicles underwent trials at the GAZ Group's engineering centre. Engineers and specialists from the Canadian company Magna International played an active role in the installation and fine tuning of the assembly line, as well as in the training of GAZ Group employees.

Specifications of the Volga Siber

Standard equipment: 2-litre engine with 141 hp, air conditioning, two airbags, ABS, anti-skid Traction Control System, halogen headlamps with delayed disconnection and adjustable levels of brightness, power steering, adjustable steering wheel, electric driver's seat adjustable in six directions, stereo system with six speakers and amplifier, heated and folding electric mirrors and a full size spare tyre.

Main technical specifications: 4-cylinder in-line Chrysler engine (standard Euro 4). Displacement: 2 litre and 2.4 litre. Power: 141 hp and 143 hp; Torque: 188 @ 4,350 rpm and 210 @ 4,200 rpm. Maximum speed: 200 km/h. Fuel tank capacity: 61 litres. Dimensions: clearance: 140 mm; length: 4,844 mm; width: 1,792 mm; height: 1,394 mm; volume of passenger compartment: 2,660 litres; volume of boot: 453 litres.

About GAZ Group

GAZ Group holds a leading position on the Russian commercial vehicles market with a diversified product portfolio including a wide range of light commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, construction equipment, cars, power train and its components. It operates 18 large production facilities in Russia and the UK. GAZ Group consolidated sales in 2007 totalled over USD 5.9 billion. Its market capitalisation is currently USD 3.2 billion.

Other GAZ content: here.

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