UzAuto Motors has temporarily frozen export of budget Chevrolet models into the Russian market. Until mid-summer at the earliest, the company will not be able to start sales, Gazeta.ru writes.
According to the publication, the company may have problems with the certification of certain models and with debts on the old Ravon brand – the company owed Sberbank 42 million rubles.
UzAuto Motors, which announced at the end of February the launch of sales of low-cost Chevrolet vehicles on the Russian market, could not export them into Russia before quarantine was announced. Several sources in the auto business told Gazeta.ru about this, explaining that “cars did not go through customs clearance”. This information was confirmed in the Russian representative office of the Uzbek company.
The situation remains uncertain due to the fact that in addition to customs and logistics, the Uzbek automaker remains in a difficult relationship with the dealer network, sources note.
“Small dealers somewhere in the regions even have “gray” car dealerships. They are ready to take UzAuto cars even now, but it will be difficult for the Uzbek side to agree with more or less large networks that provide the main profit. Debts remained on the Ravon brand. The image before customers is spoiled: they came to the market, then they disappeared, then they presented Ravon, now they are Chevrolet. Not every dealer is ready to take such risks now,” a representative of the dealer who, until recently, worked with an Uzbek company, said.
According to the interlocutor, before mid-summer, UzAuto will not start selling its cars. In addition to customs clearance, it will be necessary to physically provide all dealers with cars, preceding the start of sales with marketing and promotions. The situation may drag on for a long time if the quarantine is extended and dealers cannot trade.
Chevrolet’s Russian office said it was agreed with UzAuto Motors that they could use the dealer’s network in Russia as part of a single brand, but car dealership owners would decide on a dealership contract on their own.
The Russian division of GM has nothing to do with the distribution of Chevrolet cars from Uzbekistan.
In addition to the Spark, Nexia and Cobalt models, the Uzbek side is considering the possibility of delivering Damas minibus to Russia. This car is sold in Asian markets, and in March its production was launched at the Kazakh SaryarkaAvtoProm plant. In Kazakhstan, its base price starts from 3.3 million tenge, approximately 582 thousand rubles. In Russia, this car will not be able to pass safety requirements in terms of crash tests, the interlocutor is convinced.
According to the Kartoteka database, in December 2019, the Moscow Arbitration Court satisfied Sberbank’s claim for the recovery of 42.35 million rubles from Ravon Motors Rus. In March last year, Ravon filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the Krylia Sovetov company in Voronezh. The amount of the claim was 4.7 million rubles, which the defendant, according to the Kartoteka, owed for the delivered auto parts.
The prospects for the Uzbek automaker in Russia are very weak because all of its models are frankly outdated, an independent consultant on the automotive industry Sergey Burgazliyev said. In his opinion, given the current situation on the Russian market, the Uzbek side chose the wrong time to enter it.