G eneral Motors announced plans stop marketing the Opel mark and most Chevrolet vehicles in the Russian market towards the end of this year and will leave indefinitely idle its plant St. Petersburg .
The measure, which could make thousand or more people lose their jobs comes a week after the company warned that Russia was under serious review. Car sales have been affected by the collapse of the Russian currency and the economy of that country, which is expected to go into recession this year.
General Motors will focus solely on luxury market in Russia, continuing marketing models like Camaro on Corvette on Tahoe and Mark Cadillac. This change in the way business brand in Russia responds to the overall strategy to ensure long-term sustainability in other markets, as was stated by President General Motors Dan Ammann in a statement.
The Chevrolet and Opel will no longer be offered in Russia, while the assembly plant will close its doors.
Sales of General Motors in Russia fell 28 percent last year and is expected to continue to decline. A few years ago only Russia was seen as an important emerging market for Chevrolet and indeed it was in 2013, when the Russian was one of the top five global markets brand sales to 123,000 units commercialized.
For his part, CEO of Opel group Karl Thomas said the company does not have the level of appropriate location for vehicles produced in Russia and the economic environment does not justify the investment to change this situation.
On the other hand the alliance GM-AvtoVAZ completed by mid-year, so the St. Petersburg plant where the Opel Astra and Chevrolet Cruze occur only will focus on building the current generation Chevrolet Niva. In September they had already reduced production to a single shift and 500 jobs were lost.
But General Motors said that the measure does not change In order to increase their profit margin in Europe next year and achieve a market share in Europe of 8 percent.
General Motors is not the only manufacturer with problems in Russia. This week Nissan announced the arrest of production for 16 days, Ford announced a cut jobs, while a reduction in investments and Volkswagen said the crisis has cost millions in lost figure.