30 May 2023 11:15

Russia's Avtotor, China's BAIC agree on technological cooperation

KALININGRAD. May 30 (Interfax) - Avtotor and China's BAIC have signed an agreement on future plans for strategic areas of development, the Russian automaker reported.

The agreement concerns cooperation on development of new products, including vehicles with electric, gas and hybrid powertrains, as well as setting up production of auto components at Avtotor facilities.

The companies have mapped out a plan for the joint work of engineering and technical groups and the conditions for provision of technological support from Chinese engineers, exchanging technical information, and introducing the latest technology and solutions for automobile production in Kaliningrad. The companies confirmed plans to work out a program for localization in these areas.

Avtotor and BAIC specialists have already begun implementing a previously approved plan to technologically prepare for the transition to a complete production process for a number of models assembled at the Kaliningrad plant that will include welding, painting and assembly.

Avtotor began assembling two BAIC models in April, the X35 five-seat crossover and U5 plus sedan with 1.5-liter engine. They are scheduled to go on sale in the second quarter. Another five BAIC models are expected to enter the Russian market later.

It was reported earlier that Avtotor is carrying out a project under a special investment contract (SPIC) to build several plants for production of electric vehicles. Overall investment in implementing the announced plans, including current investment obligations, will total at least 32 billion rubles.

Avtotor is working on producing a pilot batch of 200 electric vehicles in 2023. These will be budget vehicles, with prices starting at 500,000 rubles.

Avtotor has been producing automobiles since 1997. It assembled BMW, Kia and Hyundai cars until 2022, but assembly of the German vehicles was shut down in the spring of 2022 and production of the South Korean vehicles stopped in early October.

Avtotor now assembles the automobiles of Chinese brands Kaiyi, BAIC and SWM.