TIAF: how AutoVAZ president presented Ildar Khalikov president’s favourite car

KAMAZ electric buses, unmanned vehicles and 12 new LADA cars

TIAF: how AutoVAZ president presented Ildar Khalikov president’s favourite car Photo: Maksim Platonov

Despite the ''bottom'' the Russia car industry reached in 2016, car market players are sure 2017 will be the year of recovery. This bright phrase sounded almost in all speeches of the TIAF Supported by Automechanika international forum participants. On 29-31 March, Kazan became a car capital of Russia having hosted the third forum, which is an important event for the car industry, at Kazan Fair. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

''President's favourite car''

The exposition of the forum included exhibition stands of 117 enterprises of Russia including representatives from Germany, the USA and China. China occupied an especial place in the exhibition: over 90 makers of car details and parts presented their products here.

Tatarstan Prime Minister Ildar Khalikov opened the exhibition and then looked round the exhibition pavilion accompanied by guests including Minister of Economy, Science and the Digital Society of the Government of Thuringia Wolfgang Tiefensee. AutoVAZ production drew the Tatarstan PM's attention. Company President Nicolas Maure presented Ildar Khalikov new modifications of LADA Vesta. The prime minister examined them with pleasure and when he reached LADA 4х4 Urban, which surprisingly reminded its ''ancestor'' Niva, noted with a smile: ''It is the president's favourite car''. AutoVAZ maintains partnership relations with the republic. In December 2016, four LADA Vesta cars and LADA 4х4 Urban off-road vehicle were given to Kazan. The cars will be tested during the year. Earlier the company cooperated with the Kazan city administration within the FINA World Championships, which took place in Kazan in 2015, and the City Day in 2016.

Tatneft's tyre complex KAMA Tyres presented a recovery complex for tyres except very tyres. After treatment in this complex, tyres can run at least 500,000 km. Near Ford Sollers' stand, Ildar Khalikov was told about the company's plans to increase its production localisation in Tatarstan. In addition, the republic has suppliers of necessary goods. Enterprises of the Kama cluster Innokam and Kazanorgsintez are among them.

Explaining optimistic perspective for the Russian car industry, Minister of Economy, Science and the Digital Society in the government of Thuringia Wolfgang Tiefensee cited forecasts of the Association of European Businesses, according to which, it can grow by 4-10% in 2017. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

LADA's image

Trends and forecasts of the development of the Russian car market with the eye of its players became the key topics of the plenary session that began after the visit to the exhibition. Everybody agreed that 2016 was very uneasy and expressed their hope that 2017 will be life changing. Here Ildar Khalikov recalled his favourite saying: ''Who did not work in 1998 thinks 2016 was bad''.

Explaining optimistic perspective for the Russian car industry, Minister of Economy, Science and the Digital Society of the Government of Thuringia Wolfgang Tiefensee cited forecasts of the Association of European Businesses, according to which, it can grow by 4-10% in 2017. He says it is a serious reason for foreign car makers to remain Russia's partner.

Wolfgang Tiefensee paid attention to the fact that today the classical car industry needs not only spare part suppliers but also software suppliers. The demand for them rose after appearance of Google and Apple unmanned cars.

Having told about the company's new product, AutoVAZ President Nicolas Maure supported the topic of digital technologies in the car industry. It is LADA CONNECT prospective telematics platform that enables to manage car systems with a smartphone. Nicolas Maure also told about the importance of the Russian especially the Tatarstan market for the company. Now the republic is the third Russian region in terms of AutoVAZ production sales. LADA accounts for 26% of the Tatarstan market. Nowadays the republic has 11 suppliers of car makers. The Republic of Tatarstan is also one of the Russian leaders with the biggest number of gas and petrol stations, and ''liquefied natural gas is the road we will choose in the next years'', the AutoVAZ president defined the perspectives.

Despite a high recognition of this brand in Russia, ''its brand is not the best'', Nicolas Maure admits

The car concern links the further development with a work on LADA's image. Despite a high recognition of this brand in Russia, ''its brand is not the best'', Nicolas Maure admits. The company is going to increase the production range to improve the company's image. 12 new LADA cars will appear and 11 cars will change their style from 2017 to 2026. At the same time, the range of all-wheel drive vehicles will expand because, as Nicolas Maure thinks, ''Russia's road conditions are not the best''.

AutoVAZ also plans to increase production localisation in Russia: today it is 70% but can reach 75%. In addition, the car maker intends to augment the exports. In this case, the factories in Tolyatti and Izhevsk will be completely full.

KAMAZ electric bus in Kazan

Head constructor of KAMAZ R&D Centre on machines and special-purpose vehicles Andrey Savenkov told about the production of new trucks with Daimler cabin and engine. Daimler Cabin Frame Factory with a capacity of 55,000 cabins per year will have been built by 2019. KAMAZ and Daimler KAMAZ RUS will become its major consumers.

KAMAZ is going to provide its trucks with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Cars with ADAS are an intermediary link between usual cars driven by a driver and unmanned cars.

Andrey Savenkov said production of electric vehicles and unmanned cars for closed territories were prospective areas. By the way, the first electric bus can appear in Kazan in 2 months.

Albert Karimov noted the necessity to expand this market because the republic is a big basic polymer producer, which is the basis for car spare parts. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

To close the contacts

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan Albert Karimov told about the state of the car industry of Tatarstan. The car industry accounts for 10% in the republic's industry. In 2016, there were made products for 200 billion rubles. Albert Karimov told about the results of the previous year for the republic's car makers. KAMAZ produced 34,600 trucks for 100 billion rubles. In 2017, the car making giant is going to make 35,500 cars. The share of KAMAZ in the Russian market is growing and has reached 56%. It created Daimler KAMAZ RUS joint enterprise in cooperation with Daimler. Last year, this company made over 2,000 trucks for 9 billion rubles. Ford Sollers has three factories in the republic.

New investment projects continue being accomplished in Tatarstan. Cummins Kama started the assembly of a new engine, Bars Technology is completing the assembly of rechargeable batteries.

There are 200 companies that make car spare parts in Tatarstan. In 2016, they produced goods for 45 billion rubles. Albert Karimov noted the necessity to expand this market because the republic is a big basic polymer producer, which is the basis for car spare parts.

''We are interested in closing the contacts of value added chain: from polymer to car production,'' the vice-PM of Tatarstan claimed.

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By Evgenia Gazizova. Photo: Maksim Platonov