Kamaz to Launch First Assembly Plant in the EU

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Jun. 11 – After a meeting with Kamaz officials in Vilnius, Lithuanian Prime Minister, Andrues Cubilus told the Baltic News Service that Russian truck maker, Kamaz, together with local partner Autobagi, plans to assemble trucks in Lithuania starting in September of this year.

The Lithuanian production line will be used to target sales in Eastern Europe, where it aims to boost its market share 10-fold.

“This is the first Kamaz enterprise established in the European Union and is intended specifically for the EU market,” Andrius Kubilius said.

Kamaz intends to gradually increase production of its specialized EU-certified truck models to 1,500 trucks per year at the plant employing about 100 workers, said Giedrius Diktanas, director of Autobagi.

“This is enough to take 3 percent of the eastern European Union market,” he said, adding that the company currently holds 0.2-0.3 percent of the market. Most of the parts will be imported from Russia while the engines will be acquired from Britain, he said.

Last month, Kamaz signed a contract with the Baltics’ only manufacturer of car compressors, Panevėžio Aurida, which is another Vilnius-based company that has already begun to supply compressors to Russia’s truck giant. Panevėžio Aurida also exports its products to other Kamaz plants in Russia.

Experts say the cost of the Lithuanian production line may exceed US$13 billion.

“The company plans to increase its export share of general sales from 20 percent to 40 percent by 2020,” a Kamaz official told the Russian daily Vedomosti.

“As a former republic of the Soviet Union, Lithuania has a better understanding of our equipment, therefore it is much simpler to organize production works here than in any other EU state,” he explained. According to company officials, there are no plans to launch another production line in Europe as of now.

The company already has assembly plants in Vietnam, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and India, all of which receive their components from Kamaz.

Kamaz’s headquarters and main production facilities are located in Naberezhnye Chelny, a city in the Republic of Tatarstan, located approximately 1,000 kilometers east of Moscow. The largest shares belong to the state and to some commercial Russian banks while 11 percent of Kamaz’s shares belong to Daimler AG.

Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic States situated along the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. During the first quarter, the country’s economic growth slowed to just fewer than 4 percent year-on-year but remains among the fastest growing economies in the economically stagnant EU.

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