According to a report by Belarus publication BelTA, General Motors is preparing to assemble vehicles in Belarus. The matter was discussed at a meeting at Belarus government headquarters on April 2nd by Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich and head of General Motors Russia and the CIS, Andrew Dunstan.
The report states that in June 2013, GM signed a framework agreement to produce cars in Belarus. The General plans to use production facilities belonging to ZAO Unison located just outside of Minsk to assemble either Opel or Chevrolet vehicles. The first stage of the project, which is said to be supervised by a group led by Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Piotr Prokopovich, will consist of CKD (Knock-down kit) assembly. The project is said to be of high priority to the Republic of Belarus.
During the meeting, the Premier expressed that the Belarusian government is determined to cooperate with General Motors, stating: “We support the cooperation agreement with the Unison company”. Myasnikovich also stated that, “I think this cooperation can be expanded by involving other Belarusian and Russian companies into this project.”
He also noted that the country has crafted the necessary legal frameworks and adopted a number of legal acts, including the decrees of the President, to make the cooperation possible. In addition, Belarus has also resolved matters surrounding recycling duty with the Russian government.
“It is very important for General Motors to do good business and produce high-quality cars,” GM’s Andrew Dunstan said. “This project will allow the company to nurture great specialists.” Dunstan also underlined the importance of carrying the project out to completion, stating that “The number one task now is to make sure the project will move on smoothly. We have already chosen the product to start with (this will be one of the products that we already sell in Russia). This will be Chevrolet or Opel. We also consider Cadillac”.
The move to assemble vehicles in Belarus is likely part of GM’s strategy to further bolster its growing manufacturing operations in the Russia and CIS area in order to supply vehicles to the markets of Russia, the CIS, as well as parts of Europe. To note, General Motors started selling Chevrolet, Opel, and Cadillac vehicles in Russia in 1992.