MOSCOW, Aug 25 — RIA Novosti, Maxim Rubchenko. “Group GAZ”, Russia’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, was forced to cut production due to us sanctions. Foreign analysts believe that behind the problems of the domestic auto holding is a competitor — the American company Ford, has received enormous benefits from the sanctions war.

Four days is not a joy

Enterprises of “GAZ Group” from 21 October 2019 20 April 2020 will switch to four-day work week “due to the restrictions of industrial activity in terms of anti-Russian sanctions of the US government, problems with the supply of imported components, the deterioration of the situation in the market of commercial transport.” About this guide the Gas has notified employees last week.

Work in lightweight mode will enable the company to avoid layoffs and ensure a stable capacity utilization. While the four-day session is planned to introduce until 20 April 2020. However, the timing may vary depending on market and political situation. Moreover, the political situation here will be the deciding factor.

The fact that the problems of the enterprise began in April 2018, when the United States imposed sanctions against Oleg Deripaska owned companies, including the “GAZ Group”. For a long time, the markets ‘ attention was riveted mainly to the fate of the world manufacturer of aluminium “RUSAL”. The securities of the company on the Moscow and Hong Kong stock exchanges after the announcement of the sanctions Washington has fallen that have commented extensively on all the major business media.

Later, Washington realized that sanctions against “RUSAL” boomerang beat and American metallurgists, softened the position and provided several American companies a reprieve for the termination of contracts with the Russian aluminium producer.

In January of this year Oleg Deripaska’s agreement with the U.S. Treasury reduced its stake in En+ group (the holding company owns the controlling package of shares of “RUSAL”) to 44,95% and refused to participate in the operational management of the company. After that, the limitations of “RUSAL” was filmed.

However, GAS remained under sanctions, although today it is generally recognized that evidence of the intervention of Oleg Deripaska in American elections do not exist. However, in April, the businessman said he was ready to reduce its stake in the shares of the automaker to bring GAS from the sanctions of Washington. However, the Americans refused even to discuss such a scenario.

Who benefits

The most plausible explanation for inadequate behavior of Washington officials suggested the British newspaper the Financial Times. Analysts of the edition believe that sanctions against “GAZ Group” the trump clears the Russian market for Ford.

In March, the American automaker has announced that it will complete the production of passenger cars in Russia by closing the production in Naberezhnye Chelny, Vsevolozhsk and the engine plant in Yelabuga. While Ford continues to produce light commercial vehicles at the Yelabuga plant, including the most popular model in Russia — Ford Transit.

Until recently, Ford commercial vehicles, almost three times inferior to the sales of the Gas cars. So, last year were sold in Russia by 28.3 thousand cars “Gazelle Next” vs 10.7 thousands of Ford Transit. However, after the imposition of sanctions, the situation began to change rapidly in favor of the Americans.

The fact that GAS is highly dependent on imported components. In the Gazelle Next is a front bumper from Magna, door handles Czech, German electric Windows, seat of the German Isri, airbags from Takata, the Japanese, the control unit from Delphi, the scale of the instrument from the American Visteon, brake rotors from the Korean Mondo and more.

Under threat of us sanctions foreign suppliers of components for the Gazelle Next stopped shipments to Russia. And this is immediately reflected in the volume of production, sales and distribution of market shares between Gas and Ford.

According to the analytical Agency “AUTOSTAT”, by August 2019, increase sales of commercial vehicles GAZ was 2.9 percent compared to last year. While Ford sales jumped 34.5 percent!

Hope for the state

Hopes that the United States will cancel the sanctions against “GAZ Group”, is almost gone: when it comes to the commercial interests of their companies, Washington forget about fair competition, and about justice.

To declare a boycott of the Ford, just as the Chinese began a boycott of Apple after the introduction of sanctions against Huawei, also makes no sense — suffer our own automakers in Elabuga.

So the chances of that in April, GAS will be back to a normal schedule of work, a small. Unfortunately, looks more realistic forecast of Oleg Deripaska, who in the spring had warned that the decline in production and sales may lead to bankruptcy, forced to service the loans, payments on which amount to 700 million rubles a month.

If the group goes bankrupt, the work will lose 40 thousand people. The reduction can also affect the suppliers and employees of adjacent businesses.

However, the worst-case scenario may not happen. Back in the spring the government began to discuss possible support options of “GAZ Group”. In addition to direct financial investment and consider the option of buying the automaker one of the companies with state participation.

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