Bo Andersson CEO OAO Gaz Interview

Photo: Bloomberg

By Ben Aris of bne

Skoda, the Czech subsidiary of German car giant Volkswagen, launched production of its aptly named Yeti sports utility vehicle at GAZ’s facility in Nizhny Novgorod on December 6, as the iconic Russian car maker takes another step on the road to recovery.

GAZ (which stands for the Gorky Automotive Plant) was effectively bankrupt when Bo Andersson (pictured) was hired by owner oligarch Oleg Deripaska in 2009. “It was a nightmare. We owed $250m to suppliers, but within ten months we managed to pay them all back,” says the former Swedish brigadier general who remade himself as a car man working for General Motors. Read more

Three bits of proof on Wednesday, if more were needed, that for most carmakers China is crucial to survival – let alone success.

First, Jaguar Land Rover announced a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Chery. Then BMW and Volkswagen took hits to their share prices on negative comments about their China sales. And finally, Skoda (a VW unit) announced a boost in profits, driven by Russia and India – and China. Read more