Gorky Automobile Plant (founded in 1932) is the key plant of GAZ Group. Gorky Automobile Plant produces light and medium-duty commercial vehicles (minibuses, vans, crew vans, chassis cabs and drop-side trucks).
Over 300 modifications of specialty vehicles are produced on GAZ vehicles platform: ambulances, school buses, tankers, dump trucks, tow trucks, mobile shops, mobile laboratories, cash-in-transit vehicles, specialty vehicles for law enforcement authorities and others. The most popular automotive brands of the plant include GAZelle, Sobol, Valdai and Sadko.
The plant is the leader in light commercial vehicles production in Russia with around 50% in this market segment. In 2010 Gorky Automobile Plant renewed its model range by launching upgraded GAZelle-BUSINESS with improved consumer characteristics, new level of quality, reliability, safety, comfort and reduced cost of ownership. When GAZelle-BUSINESS was developed, about 150 design and production process changes were made on the vehicle. In 2010 the plant started installation of Cummins diesel engine and gas equipment on GAZelle-BUSINESS in serial production. The plant is also doing preproduction of new-generation light commercial vehicles GAZelle-NEXT.
The commercial vehicles facility of Gorky Automobile Plant uses quality control system at international standards level. The parameters of each vehicle are checked for conformance to the set technical characteristics throughout the production cycle (welding, painting, assembly) making it possible to ensure a high level of reliability and safety of GAZ products. The plant also uses independent audit of the vehicle quality «from the customer’s standpoint».
GAZ was one of the first in Russia to have implemented "lean production" system. This system makes it possible to raise production efficiency with maximum attention to the customer, avoiding all kinds of losses and involving each employee in optimization of the production process. GAZ Group has become a «training center» for lean production in Russia – leaders of various industries (Sberbank of Russia, Rosatom and others) have studied lean production at GAZ. The new production system has made it possible to raise labour productivity at the plant by four times.
The new approach to quality and manufacturing processes organization implemented at GAZ is used at all plants of the holding. In 2008 Gorky Automobile Plant established a corporate university to master modern production technologies and to promote professional development of the employees. The Corporate University has developed 480 unique training programs to upgrade the qualification of the managers, specialists and workers in the most demanded professions.
Gorky Automobile Plant also manufactures over five thousand types of automotive components. GAZ automotive component facilities produce axles and suspension, wheel disks, exhaust system parts, iron castings, forgings and tooling and provide most GAZ Group’s plants with automotive components.
High technological level of GAZ automotive component facilities makes it possible to manufacture a wide range of products of the highest quality in the shortest period of time both for in-house needs and for external customers. In the last few years GAZ has introduced a number of new production technologies. The plant’s forging shop has a modern cross wedge rolling (WRL) machine. The casting shop has new casting equipment. Axle Plant has a set of high-precision Klingelnberg machines and Hessap CNC lathe. Die and Mould Plant has a five-axis high-speed Mecof Dynamill 3000 machining centre and Quintus Flex-Form press that is used to create parts of GAZ future models.
Gorky Automobile Plant has a wide service and distribution network that includes over 100 vehicle outlets and over 170 service stations, as well as around 1.2 thousand automotive component outlets.
An important area of the company’s development is cooperation with the leading international automakers Volkswagen, General Motors and Daimler. The signed agreements provide for setup of Skoda Octavia, Skoda Yeti, Volkswagen Jetta, Chevrolet Aveo cars and Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles production at Gorky Automobile Plant. Besides, GAZ develops cooperation with foreign automotive component manufacturers.
For example, a joint venture has been created with Bosal, an international manufacturer of emission control systems. A letter of intent to establish a joint venture has been signed with Swedish manufacturer of fasteners Bulten. Joint projects with leading international automakers will help to upgrade the manufacturing facilities of the plant and to train the staff according to the best standards of the world automotive industry.
The competitiveness of the company is based on high qualification of its staff. GAZ has an effective employee motivation system to make the employees more interested in the results of their work, to attract and retain highly qualified specialists and promising young people at the plant.
The main target of GAZ social policy is to ensure a good standard of living for the employees, which in addition to remuneration, employment benefits and opportunities of professional advancement, includes creation of conditions for upbringing and education of children, recreation and healthy life style.
In April 2011 GAZ Group allocated 1.3 billion rubles to pay bonuses to the employees of its plants for good results in 2010. The annual bonus of each employee reflected the individual contribution to the common result. The funds allocated to social programs at GAZ under the collective bargaining contract in 2011 increased by 33% to 477 million rubles.
Gorky Automobile Plant supports 40 schools and 50 kindergartens of Nizhny Novgorod. GAZ also supports colleges involved in the company’s education system aimed at training qualified staff.