Russia - Volkswagen Group Rus recently announced the start of local Skoda Kodiaq production. The model is being made at the Gaz Group plant in Nizhny Novgorod, marking the next stage in a long-standing partnership between the two companies.
"We are proud that our partner has chosen GAZ production facility for production of one more model in addition to the range we are already manufacturing," commented Manfred Eibeck, CEO of Russian Machines - the parent company of Gaz Group. "This increases capacity utilisation and provides additional training for the workforce of Gorky Automobile Plant. Meeting all quality standards, all technological requirements is the key priority for us in the projects that we are implementing jointly with Volkswagen Group Rus, and a basis for further development of our cooperation."
Other models built at the plant include the Skoda Yeti, Skoda Octavia and VW Jetta. However, an additional €87.5m (US$108m) was spent over the course of just 18 months to prepare for the launch.
The Kodiaq will be made using a full-cycle production method, whereby pre-built parts are shipped to Gorky Automobile Plant. However, spot-welding processes, double primer and paint works, and anticorrosive processing with hot wax will all be carried out at the facility before final assembly takes place.
For VW, the news represents an important step in its Russian activities - the market has slowly been recovering since a slump in demand that started back in 2013. “The start of the Kodiaq's local production is opening a new page in the history of Skoda’s development in Russia," explained Oliver Grünberg, Technical Director of Volkswagen Group Rus. "We used the investments to prepare the production site and purchase new equipment. A recognisable figure out of the overall investment went into quality control. All this will allow us to produce cars fulfilling the company’s highest standards and requirements."