4 Sep 2019 17:09

Energy, Trade Minister expecting up to 50 Auruses to be supplied in 2020, more than 500 in 2021

MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) - Annual production of Aurus vehicles will reach several hundred within two years, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.

"Today low-volume production has been arranged at NAMI [the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute], and in 2020 it'll be able to produce no more than 200 cars. I think next year we'll be able to deliver up to 50 cars to retail clients next year, while in 2021 we're planning to achieve production of more than 500 automobiles, then gradually, as demand increases, boost production to 5,000 cars in various modifications," Manturov said in an interview with Vedomosti published on Wednesday.

"The main industrial partner in the project, Ford Sollers Elabuga, has already ordered the equipment necessary for production. A question concerning welding remains open: it will either be flow or post welding. As I see it, and according to the majority of my colleagues who are connected to the project, we need post, since, given the class of automobile, we're not talking about dozens or hundreds of thousands of cars a year," he said.

Retail sales have not begun, and only non-binding applications are being collected, according to Vedomosti. In August, the first Aurus showroom opened at Moscow City. The starting price for the unarmored version is known to be about 18 million rubles. Manturov did not say how much the other models (limousine, offroader, minibus, etc.) will cost.

"The project is moving into the commercial stage, so I won't say anything about prices, but recommend that you redirect these questions to Aurus," he said.

Aurus is a production and distribution company. The state-owned NAMI holds 63.5%, the Emirati fund Tawazun owns 36%, and Sollers controls 0.5%.

"Concerning modifications: currently, the limousine and sedan are being produced. The minivan is still in experimental production, its certification is taking place simultaneously. The offroader also needs to undergo all the tests, including certification. The main emphasis will be put on this model; that's how the situation in the market is shaping up, such are the requests of our foreign partners. Tawazun is thinking about the possibility of assembling the offroader in the UAE, as it happens. I think 2021-22, not earlier," Manturov said.

Preliminary orders for cars began to be accepted at the beginning of the year, and more than 500 have been received, he said.