ONE FEET IN KOREA
OTHER - IN RUSSIA
OR WHY THE UKRAINIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY STAND
The neighbor’s car market is gradually civilizing and demonopolizing.
BUYER LOBBY DOES NOT REPLACE
Ukraine, like Russia, cannot be understood by the mind. And to the Korean - and even more so …
When the Daewu Group tried on Zaporizhzhyan trousers, the country of two Taras - Bulba and Shevchenko - painted bright prospects for him. Dignitaries in the corridors of power provided the required benefits and didn’t sing in unison: “He came to us, our investor came to us dear!” Everything went to the point that the AvtoZAZ-Daewoo joint venture would become a monopolist in the Ukrainian passenger car market. And what? In 1999, more than 300 thousand cars were imported into the country. Approximately 80% were used foreign cars from non-CIS countries.
But, it would seem, a reliable barrier was put to their flow: in the spring of 1998, the Cabinet of Ministers banned the import of cars older than 5 years. The ban played a cruel joke with its Korean initiators: they relaxed, unaware of the "crooked goat" on which laws have been famously circling us for centuries.
In addition to primitive bribes, there were ways worthy of the immortal Ostap. For example, you buy from a compatriot documents of the car of the desired model, and then you import the same from abroad in a disassembled form: supposedly to replace the units. Or you drive a foreign car from the West for a non-existent Russian who suddenly “refuses” it, and the car, remaining in Ukraine, is legalized by court. But the most popular way to bypass the ban was the "temporary import" of cars with foreign license plates (most often Lithuanian) by proxy of the owner, he is actually the seller. According to experts, the fleet of Ukraine annually grows due to such vehicles by 100-120 thousand.
In the summer of 1999, the Cabinet of Ministers, under pressure from AvtoZAZ-Daewoo, launched an offensive against temporary importation, banning its permanent residents of Ukraine. But the matter went to the presidential election and it was easy to imagine how hundreds of thousands of offended people would vote. Shortly before the election, Leonid Kuchma canceled a government decree: they say it’s not finalized and causes social tension. The cabinet is being finalized … According to forecasts, temporary importation will nevertheless be sharply limited, but at the same time, already imported cars may be legalized, obliging actual owners to pay from 100 to 300 dollars to the state budget. e. depending on the class of car.
The moral of this story must be included in textbooks for businessmen: no lobbyists at the top can replace you a buyer! And AvtoZAZ-Daewoo treated him at first casually, without taking into account his wallet and psychology. Prices of Korean joint venture models turned out to be unbearable for the average Ukrainian consumer, and besides, in his eyes, the Daewoo cars looked like imposed by the authorities. There was no reliable, public service. As a result, in the first year of operation, the joint venture managed to sell only half of the products (about 13 thousand cars) and slowed down production so as not to work at the warehouse. In 1999, only 6 thousand relatively cheap cars of the Tavria family were produced.
The change of leadership of AvtoZAZ-Daewoo (ZR, 1999, No. 7) dramatically changed the situation. A sale of unsold cars was announced. At the same time, the price of "Lanos" in the basic configuration decreased from 8, 200 to 5, 000. e., and "Nubira" and "Tavria" fell by 30%, almost a third were reduced and the prices of spare parts. At the same time, the joint venture began to offer its cars on lease on attractive terms (30% of the cost immediately, the remaining 70 - for 3 years at 16% per annum). And the sales that were frozen were steeply going up: in the first month alone, 2000 cars left the warehouses. The same "Lanos" in the list of the most bought models in Ukraine rose from 12th to 2nd place, and the new "Slavuta" pseudo-sedan (ZAZ 1103) - from 9th to 4th. Most importantly, however, the joint venture has a strategic partner - Ukravto Corporation, which has a network of 400 service stations and car dealerships.
But the precious time - almost a year and a half - is irretrievably lost. And the official leader of the Ukrainian automobile industry, capable of producing at least 150 thousand cars annually, is forced to significantly moderate its ambitions. In 2000, he plans to sell 38 thousand cars, of which 8 thousand - abroad (primarily in Russia).
Nature does not tolerate emptiness, and especially the market. While AvtoZAZ-Daewoo skidded, GAZ strengthened its position in Ukraine (ЗР, 1998, No. 11). Three enterprises in Simferopol, Chernihiv and near Kiev, receiving car kits from Russia and using an average of 30% of Ukrainian components, assembled and sold in 1999 about 11 thousand Volga, gazelles and sables. So, the Ukrainian partners of the Gorky Automobile Plant in total production exceeded AvtoZAZ-Daewoo last year. True, cars still lagged behind: "Volga" made about 4 thousand.
A curious fact: the Ukrainian government obliged budgetary organizations and institutions to buy only domestic cars for their own needs. Probably, there was an idea to push directors to Nubira and Leganze from Zaporozhye. However, many chose the Volga of the Ukrainian assembly, the benefit is still quite respectable and does not annoy the labor collective sitting without a salary …
Seriously interested in Ukraine, although later Gorky, AvtoVAZ. He has established solid official importers (Ukrprominvest Corporation, etc.). The results are impressive: out of 70 thousand new cars of all brands sold in Ukraine last year, almost half of VAZ cars are sold. Among them, the most popular models were 2109, 21099 and 2107.
Now AvtoVAZ hatches the assembly project of Ukrainian “sixes”. Negotiations on their production were conducted with the Lutsk Automobile Plant and with the agro-industrial enterprise in Rivne. According to recent reports, the elderly, produced since 1976, the model has a chance to register in Zaporozhye. One option is in a knitwear factory …
Be that as it may, the presence of AvtoVAZ in Ukraine is more and more noticeable and is not limited to the mere sale of cars. Large importers of Lad and Lada organize counter deliveries of Ukrainian materials and components to Tolyatti (for example, Ukr-
Prominvest "sends Zaporizhzhya metal and Dnepropetrovsk batteries). Cooperation is expanding at such a pace that in order to avoid unnecessary circulation of money from Ukraine to Russia and vice versa, a financial intermediary has emerged - the UkravtoVAZ trading house.
Another Russian brand produced in Ukraine is UAZ. The large-site assembly of models 3151 and 3962 is handled by the Krasnodar plant Avtoagregat (Lugansk Region). In 1999, more than 1000 cars were manufactured. Not so hot, but it seems that UAZ will still make a career in Ukraine. Lutsk Automobile Plant finally found an investor - the aforementioned Ukrprominvest corporation - and decided to collect … UAZs. To begin with, I planned for at least a thousand in 2000.
But what about the Lutsk People’s Jeep, which in Ukraine is called “Volynyanka”? Due to the lack of gearboxes last year, only 70 car kits were sent to the Valletta company located near Moscow. In 2000, “bagpipes” will be produced as many boxes as the Lviv hydromechanical transmission plant, which is mastering their production, will provide. So far, no one is able to give at least an approximate figure.
Most importantly, LuAZ got money for the reconstruction. Upon its completion, he will be able to produce not 17 thousand cars a year, as in his best times, but three times as much.
WILL BE YOU AND "ASTRA" …
Western automakers, who have found cheap labor in the countries of Eastern Europe, are still not going further east to Ukraine. The only exception is Opel, which intends to organize a small-site assembly of the new Astra at the Zaporizhzhya Automobile Plant. Opel, as you know, is a long-time partner and teacher of Daewoo in the automotive industry. These special relations of theirs make it possible to solve the question of the Zaporozhye Astra amicably. Another thing is timing. Opel, having the sad experience of a joint venture before its eyes, wants to come to a stable operating enterprise. He is ready to take concrete steps no earlier than AvtoZAZ-Daewoo will produce 50 thousand cars a year. According to experts, this will happen in 2001.
The rest of the world's automakers are satisfied with dealer sales in Ukraine, the volumes of which in the best case are in the hundreds of cars of this brand. But recently, their attitude to the Ukrainian market has become more serious. One of the criteria may be the benefits provided to customers. Here is a fresh example: for all new “Mercedes” purchased from authorized dealers, the warranty period is doubled (up to 2 years or 100 thousand km).
In general, despite a lot of legal and economic problems, the automotive market of Ukraine is gradually civilizing. The main achievement - the alternative auto industry was born and is gaining ground. This benefit is not only for consumers, but also for the failed monopolist in the person of AvtoZAZ-Daewoo. Correctly said its current leader Oleg Papashev, while still the chief designer: "Monopolism corrupts and leads to decay …"
The author thanks the information-analytical group