Last updated
Type Public company
Industry Automotive
Founded1996;25 years ago (1996)
Products Cars
Revenue$689 million [1]  (2017)
208,000,000,000 Russian ruble  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Number of employees
2,100 [2]  (2015)
Website avtotor.ru

Avtotor (Russian : Автотор) is an automobile manufacturing company located in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. Avtotor was established in 1996, and by 2008 it was one of the largest producers and assemblers of cars in the world. [3] The company's revenue for 2011 was reported to be approximately 4 billion euros and the company was reported to have 3,500 employees. [4]



Avtotor was founded in 1996 by a group of investors led by current majority owner and chairman of the board of directors, Vladimir Shcherbakov (former Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR and Chairman of Goskomtrud, the State Committee for Labour and Social Problems in the Soviet Union). [5]

With an investment of $130,000,000, an assembly plant was installed in an unoccupied shipyard in Kaliningrad, with an original plan to produce Nissan automobiles. The name of the company is a portmanteau of "auto" and the German word "tor", meaning "gate". In 1997, the new plant also began assembling Kia automobiles. [6]

In the aftermath of the 1998 Russian financial crisis, the company found itself in a difficult financial position following a significant drop in automobile sales. To mitigate the consequences of the crisis, the company changed its business model. The company secured a contract with BMW, making it a licensed importer for the German automaker. [7]

Later, the company began a partnership with General Motors, starting full-scale assembly on the Chevrolet Lacetti.



BMW X6 BMW X6 front 20081002.jpg

Assembly of the BMW vehicles began in August 1999, with the BMW 5 Series (E39) and 7 Series. [8] In the first year, 555 cars were produced.[ citation needed ] In March 2001, it began the assembly of the BMW 3 Series (E46), [8] and later, of the new 5 Series (E60). [9]

In July 2009, the capacity of the plant was increased and Avtotor began production of the crossovers BMW X5 and X6. [9] At the end of May 2010, Avtotor announced the start of assembly on the new BMW 5 Series (F10) for the Russian market, [10] from kits received from Germany.

The BMW line-up produced in Kaliningrad has expanded over time with the following models: E65/66 (7 Series), F01/F02 (7 Series), E90 (3 Series), E70 (X5), E71 (X6), E83 (X3) and E84 (X1). [8] [11]

In May 2015, BMW released a statement postponing the decision to invest in another plant in Russia, due to economic uncertainty in the country. [12] There have been rumors in the media about the quality of Russian made BMWs. [13] These vehicles also did not have factory and manufacturer warranties, unlike their German-made counterparts. [7]

General Motors

In August 2003, Avtotor and General Motors signed a set of agreements on the organization of production of GM vehicles at the Kaliningrad plant. [14]

In August 2004, the Kaliningrad plant started production of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Chevrolet Tahoe, [15] and in October 2004, of the Hummer H2. [16] [17]

In July 2005, the Cadillac CTS, SRX and STS joined them. [18]

On 21 November 2008, production started of the Chevrolet Lacetti in full cycle, including welding and painting. This investment in the organization of the production on the part of GM in Avtotor amounted to 80 million euros. [19]

The other models produced at the Kaliningrad plant include the Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet Aveo, Epica, Malibu, Orlando, Captiva, and the Opel Astra, [20] Zafira, [20] Meriva, Insignia, Mokka, and Antara. [14]

Since the existence of the project, Avtotor produced over 362,107 cars for GM's brands. [14] General Motors discontinued its partnership with Avtotor in 2015 citing poor economic outlook in the country. [21]

Hyundai Motor Company

In September 2012, the company began the production of the commercial vehicle Hyundai HD-78, with a capacity up to 3.5 tonnes, and in 2013, of the trucks Hyundai HD-170 and HD-120. [22] In March 2013, the company started the assembly of the Hyundai i40 sedan and estate, and in July 2013, of the brand's flagship, the Hyundai Equus. [23] In October 2015, the Hyundai Elantra was added to the line-up. [24]

Kia Motors

In 1996, Avtotor signed a general agreement with Kia that led to the construction of the plant and the assembly of cars for the Russian market. Construction began on 15 January 1997, and on 17 May 1997, the plant launched the assembly line of the Kia models. The plant has produced more than 240,000 vehicles for Kia. [25]

Among the models produced at the Avtotor plant are the Clarus, Rocsta, Avella, Besta, Pregio, Carnival I, Carnival II, Carnival IV, Rio I, Rio II, Opirus I, Opirus II, Magentis I, Magentis II, Carens I, Carens II, Sportage I, Sportage II, Sportage III, Ceed, Soul, and Mohave. [25]

In February 2016, Avtotor started production on the Kia Optima. [26]


In June 2005, "Autotor-Trucks" began when Autotor collaborated with NAVECO, which is part of the Nanjing Automobile Corporation. Lineup Yuejin - this is a broad range of low-bed delivery trucks with a payload of 0.8 tonnes to 24 tonnes. On August 10, 2006, the first batch of trucks was completed successfully. In 2007, "Autotor-Trucks" produced and sold through their agent "Autotor Vans', 1940 units of commercial vehicles.

In 2007, "Autotor-Trucks", like the rest of the group Autotor, received a certificate of conformity of quality management standards ISO 9002. And to date, continues to manufacture the flatbed brand Yuejin, models NJ 1020, NJ 1041, NJ 1080.

Currently, work is underway to expand the lineup due to vehicles with a larger capacity. "Autotor-Trucks" and its distributor "Autotor Commercial Vehicles" offer its customers a wide range of options: special equipment add-ons; Vans (manufactured goods, isothermal); loading platforms with various manipulators; haulers; and other add-ons.

Former cooperations

Chery Automobile

Chery car assembly in the Kaliningrad factory began in 2006. Chery car sales began in Russia in May 2006. [27]

In 2006, it sold around 13,000 units (of which Amulet - 8,581, QQ - 1,959, Tiggo - 1,223, Oriental Son - 32 and Fora - 257). About 80% of cars sold in Russia were collected.

In the first six months of 2007, 18,558 vehicles were sold (of which Amulet - 10,119, Tiggo - 4,986, Fora - 2,596, QQ - 825, Oriental Son - 32), allowing Chery to take 12th place in the overall ranking in terms of sales in Russia. In 2007, in Russia, it sold 37,120 Chery cars. The factory produced 40,000 Chery cars that same year from semi-knocked-down kits. [28]

In March 2008, Avtotor stopped the Chery car assembly. [28] The main cause was the fear that the government would deprive the factory of its privileges enjoyed under the Special Economic Zone, such as duty-free import of components.[ citation needed ]

Awards and Recognition


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