GAZ Group, part of Russia’s largest diversified industrial group Basic Element, and Turkish company Mersa Otomotiv announce start of production and start of sales of Euro-5 GAZelle NEXT vehicles in Turkey. This is the first series assembly operations of Russian Euro-5 light commercial vehicle’s abroad. The new vehicle was presented on Tuesday to the Turkish business society at the Istanbul Park rink built for Formula 1 races.
GAZelle NEXT SKD assembly operations were established on the Mersa Otomotiv plant in the city of Sakarya, 150 km away from Istanbul. The key components and systems of the vehicles are delivered from Russia, while some components (propeller shafts, wheel discs, batteries, braking system elements) are purchased from Turkish manufacturers.
The dealer network was prepared and Turkish specialists were trained before the start of sales. 24 dealer centers and 38 certified service stations were started up in seven regions of the country.
The NEXT vehicles are designed using the best technological solutions and meet the state-of-the-art standards of ergonomics, reliability, safety and comfort. The vehicle was engineered based on the thorough study of the customer opinion and using engineering resources of the global manufacturers of systems and components.
In 2014, GAZ obtained the unified European vehicle type approval permitting to sell GAZelle NEXT vehicles in the European Union. Certification tests were carried out both in Russia and abroad. The emission tests were performed by AТ IDIADA, Spain since there is no equipment for Euro-5 emission tests in Russia. Compliance with 43 safety requirements was confirmed, 113 global certificates were received including 74 certificates for components: safety belts, tires, glasses, etc.
The export share within the GAZ commercial vehicle sales has grown from 13% to 18% for the last two years. The growth was caused by the sales increase in the CIS, South-Eastern Asia, North Africa and Middle East.
Oleg Deripaska, Chairman of the Basic Element Supervisory Board: “Today, GAZ Group has modern products that can successfully compete in the European and other export markets. The company is investing around $375 million into development of the NEXT light commercial vehicles and light-duty trucks product portfolio. All the developments are taking into account the export market requirements. Export development is one of the key focuses of the GAZ Group strategy. It motivates the automotive companies to engineer high tech products and ramp up production.”
Vadim Sorokin, GAZ Group President: “We offer to our Turkish customers the vehicle combining excellent functionality with low cost of ownership and the best price in the class. The Turkish market is one of the highly competitive markets where the majority of global OEM’s are present. However, I am sure that customers will appreciate the advantages of the Russian vehicle.”