ST. PETERSBURG – The ongoing economic crisis in Russia may result in further declines in auto production accompanied by masssive job cuts, analysts predict.
According to automotive analysts ASM-Holding, employment in the Russian auto industry has declined 10.5% since May 2014, from 205,134 to 183,534 workers, and a new wave of layoffs may take place by the end of the year.
Through August, light-vehicle deliveries in the country were down 33.5% year-over-year, according to WardsAuto data.
At AvtoVAZ, Russia’s flagship automaker, workers in recent weeks have conducted a series of strikes to protest job losses at its plants.
A spokesman for the Samara Trade Union, which represents AvtoVAZ workers, says the automaker has reneged on promises by CEO Bo Andersson to cut no more jobs this year.
At PSA Peugeot Citroen, production cutbacks have prompted the French automaker to announce it will lay off about 600 workers, or 40% of the workforce at its Kaluga plant.
A spokesman for contract assembler Avtotor, which produces BMW cars for the Russian market, says the automaker has laid off about 500 workers but plans no further job cuts in the near future.
The Avtovor facility in Kaliningrad, which has production capacity of up to 250,000 units a year, earlier this year lost General Motors as a client when the U.S. automaker abandoned Russian manufacturing.
Nissan and Ford, meanwhile, say they have no immediate plans to cut jobs. Ford, which operates its Vsevolozhsk plant near St. Petersburg on one shift four days a week, even granted its 1,000 workers raises of about 5% this summer.
Sergey Tselikov, director general of automotive analyst Autostat, predicts job cuts at Russian plants will continue next year as many global automakers scale back local operations to compensate for declining sales.