Facilitating International Market Access for Manufacturing Suppliers in the Automotive Component Industry in the Samara Region of Russia
Approximately 40% of industrial production and 35% of labour force in Samara are concentrated in the automotive industry. AvtoVAZ, the largest Russian automobile manufacturer in the country, has long been the main driving force for component manufacturers in Samara, but with investments from Renault-Nissan, new supply chain requirements are making inroads into the local supplier landscape. As lucrative as the automotive sector may be for the region, the industry is still characterized by a lack of specialized staff to improve quality and productivity, an underdeveloped scientific and technological infrastructure to develop new processes and products, and a dearth of strategic partnerships with universities, research institutions and industry to allow for a systemic improvement of the Samara automotive industry as a whole.
In 2008, UNIDO initiated a project to set up a network of automotive component suppliers in the Samara Region of Russia to strengthen their competitiveness.
Entitled “Facilitating International Market Access for Manufacturing Suppliers in the Automotive Component Industry in Samara region of Russia”, the project aims to assist the automotive component suppliers in the region to meet the requirements of vehicle and Tier 1 automotive component manufacturers and to overcome the constraints arising from their small size and the resulting inability to realize economies of scale. At the same time, target beneficiaries are to benefit from activities to accelerate a process of integrating them into local markets and the Central and Eastern European region, as well as into global automotive supply chains. It aims to achieve three inter-related objectives:
- Enhancing the performance of participating suppliers in the automotive component industry through direct shop floor interventions.
- Upgrading the relevant support institutions through strengthening of the institutional set-up, optimization of the service portfolio and development of a base of well-trained national engineers.
- Developing a regional outsourcing base for automotive components through the building of linkages and synergies between clusters in the Central and Eastern European region.
In the context of the project, the following activities were pursued:
- a team of local experts was trained in lean manufacturing concepts and ISO/TS-16949 to extend technical counseling services to 33 local component manufacturers and to liaise closely with relevant Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs),
- the capacity of support institutions and local organizational structures was built through training and joint project development between component manufacturers, research institutions and academia as well as through the set-up of the Association of Automotive Suppliers in the Samara Region, and
- linkages to other automotive clusters in Russia and Europe were facilitated, in particular within Russia and between Russian and Slovenian auto-clusters and component manufacturers, which resulted in direct business contacts, the formation of joint ventures and Greenfield investments.
The project was funded by the Slovenian Government and and implemented in collaboration with the Automotive Cluster of Slovenia and partners from Samara and within Russia.