By Narmina Mammadova
Automative sector is currently developing fast in Azerbaijan, as more plants engaged in the production of cars are being launched across the country.
Mechanical engineering occupies one of the most important places among the industrial sectors of the country.The origin of the mechanical engineering industry in Azerbaijan is associated with the start of oil production in 1848 and it specialized in the field of petroleum engineering until recently.
In recent years, Azerbaijan has developed newer industries in addition to petroleum engineering. The country has achieved certain success in the development of transport engineering, namely the automotive sector.
Head of the CIS regional sales department of the Commercial Vehicles - GAZ Group LLC Alexander Pakhomov told Trend that the construction of the GAZ automobile plant in the Hajigabul industrial zone of Azerbaijan is planned to be completed by 2019.
Now, calculations are conducted by our Azerbaijani partners for the investment plan, he noted.
"It consists of two parts, the first is the construction itself, and the second is the purchase of equipment. Initially, we planned to establish a distribution office in Azerbaijan, then our cooperation has reached a new level. This is a very good chance for us, and a good option, and we hope that we will be able to localize the manufacture of our entire line-up of products in Azerbaijan and offer them to local consumers, taking into account the optimized prices," Pakhomov said.
He went on to say that commercial transport has a specific nature and it is produced for specific purposes and objectives.
"The base of our line-up of products includes more than 400 types of special vehicles. This is a very good foothold, and good environment for Azerbaijani manufacturers," Pakhomov said.
The head of the department noted that the company will manufacture both the basic chassis and ready-made special vehicles.
"Typically, there are three key types of superstructures - chassis-sideboard, full-metal van and bus. The localization of these three key superstructures will provide for manufacture of a full range of the line-up of special vehicles", said the representative of the company.
Earlier, AzerMash and GAZ Automobile Plant announced their plans to invest 14 million manats in the construction of the plant.
The plant intends to manufacture 1000 light-duty trucks every year. The company will meet the needs of the domestic market, and the delivery of trucks to other countries has been planned for the future.
Some 80 people will be employed at the plant at the initial stage, and 150 people - later, after reaching the operation at full capacity.
The light-duty trucks "GAZelle Next" and "GAZelle Business", as well as medium-duty trucks "Gazon Next" will be assembled at the plant. At the same time, a number of component parts for trucks will be manufactured in Azerbaijan. In addition, a GAZ branded dealership center will open this year in Baku.
It will be the second automobile plant in Azerbaijan for AzerMash OJSC. Currently, the company is also a co-owner of "Khazar" automobile plant, the joint venture established together with the Iranian Iran Khodro company in the Neftchala industrial zone.
Presently, the plant produces Khazar LD and Khazar SD models. The assemblage of a number of Peugeot and Renault models will be carried out in the future. They will cost 18,000-21,000 manats ($10,600-12,300). The cost of cars presently produced at the plant is 14,000-16,000 manats ($8,200-$9,400).
The Khazar plant was opened during a two-day visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Azerbaijan. The annual capacity of the plant is about 10,000 cars. These cars are expected to be delivered not only to Russia, but also to Ukraine and Central Asian countries in the future.
All vehicles manufactured at the plant comply with Euro-5 standards. The plant plans to start exporting cars next year.
The production of some trucks and cars has already been set up in Azerbaijan, at the Ganja and Nakhchivan automobile plants.
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