By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
In recent years, automotive industry in Azerbaijan has been experiencing positive changes. The country is developing its own automobile manufacturing market by launching new plants to increase local production and decrease import dependence.
Market Analysis Azerbaijan 2019, presented by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK Azerbaijan), forecasts that production in the automotive industry of Azerbaijan will reach $20 million this year and $70 million by 2022.
One of the car plants of Azerbaijan is the Khazar car plant built by AzerMash. It is located in southeast Azerbaijan in the Neftchala Industrial Zone. All cars produced there comply with Euro 5 standards. Cars have been sold since summer 2018.
Gunay Namidar, Head of Press Service at AzerMash, has told Trend that Peugeot cars produced at the Khazar plant have already been supplied to a number of state and private entities.
She said that currently, AzerMash produces only one Peugeot model.
“Mass production started in May. The ordered Peugeot 407 have already been supplied to many public and private sector entities. Their prices vary within 17,500-19,500 manats ($10,200-11,500),” Namidar noted.
She added that cars are supplied only to the local market for now.
“Currently, produced cars are designed for the local market. After a certain time, with obtaining a license to sell abroad, these cars will be exported to the CIS countries. Initially, Azerbaijan will supply Peugeot to the Ukrainian market,” Namidar emphasized.
Automotive sector is currently developing fast in Azerbaijan, as more plants engaged in the production of cars are being launched across the country. Recently, the foundation of a bus plant was laid in Hajigabul.
The new plant is expected to produce 500 buses of both European and Asian countries at the initial stage. As many as 100 people will be employed at the enterprise, which will operate on 5 hectares of land. The cost of the project is 11 million manats ($6.47 million).
Earlier, the groundbreaking ceremony of the GAZ cars assembly plant was held in Azerbaijan's Hajigabul industrial Estate. The estimated investment in the new plant is 14 million manats (over $8 million). The plant owned by AzerMash will assemble a line of 12 types of light-duty Russian GAZ trucks, the output of which is scheduled for the second half of 2020.
Moreover, a plant in Nakhchivan opened in 2010 assembles eight models of Lifan passenger cars designed by China’s Lifan Group, which provides all the necessary spare parts for cars to the plant, so they may be assembled in Azerbaijan under the direct supervision of Chinese automotive specialists.
As for statistics, approximately 1,000 cars were sold in 2018, while about 500 cars were sold in the first two months of 2019. If last year 40 percent accounted for purchases by government agencies and 60 percent - by the population, now this ratio has changed. This year only 15 percent account for government agencies, while 85 percent falls in the share of the population.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz