Volkswagen Group follows Daimler’s recent decision to build an assembly plant in Russia by announcing it will resume production of Audi cars in the country.
Planned production volumes and specific models to be built have not been disclosed. The lineup likely may include SUVs and CUVs, segments that have performed well in Russia as the industry shows signs of emerging from a slump now in its fourth year.
The resumption of Audi production will allow the automaker to supply cars to Russian state bodies and agencies, although current law allows only Russian-made cars to be used at various government levels.
Earlier this year, VW suspended assemblies of Audi A6 and A8 sedans at its plant in Kaluga, Russia. The automaker cited low demand and the continuing effects of the devaluation of the ruble.
The Kaluga plant continues producing VW Tiguan, VW Polo and Skoda Rapid models. It also builds 1.6L gasoline engines.
VW also manufactures Skoda Yeti, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Jetta models in Nizhny Novgorod.
BMW is considering building an assembly plant in Russia.
Audi sales in Russia were down 23.1% in April and down 25.3% in the first four months of 2017 compared with a year earlier. Russian light-vehicle deliveries were up 6.9% in April and up 2.6% from January through April compared with the same period of 2016, the fourth straight year of declining year-over-year sales.